If Ranbir represents the youth, I must be the Pope

I guess I must count myself lucky to have caught what 'broke' on Headlines Today. The breaking news was from the India Today conclave that had among its participants, Ranbir Kapoor. Ranbir had grandly declared at the gathering that he represented Youngistan, the youth of India.

I guess I almost fell out my chair knowing now that Ranbir represented the youth of India. But then I wondered which set of youth was he talking about? The kind that roam malls across metros? Or the kind that are holed up at the campus of a University waging battle for what they term 'Telengana'? Or was Ranbir talking about representing the girl who's been on a fast for ten years wanting the Government of India to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958?

Who did Ranbir really represent?

The answer's pretty simple. Not the youth, at least not all of them. What Ranbir represents is the dazzling guile of a marketer who's coined a term not to band the youth of India together, but to sell soft drinks. Now do I take umbrage at that? Of course, not! In fact I am fascinated by how the marketer creates identities for brands he sells by using the likes of Ranbir, and then gets an urban demographic to connect to it, thanks largely to the kind of words like 'Youngistan'.

Youngistan is not the story of the youth of India, instead represents marketing communication at its finest. Yet, amongst this winning marketing story, there's another, of caution. No marketer must assume the demographic he targets across the country behaves alike. If there are kinds wandering the concrete malls of Urban India, there are others preparing for battle at a University campus. Reaching and connecting with the latter may well require more than slogans like Youngistan. It would require a drastic change in Marketing tactics. It may even mean abandoning the segment for now, for an opportunity in the future.

Ranbir represents a section of the youth that takes to slogans like Youngistan. The 'real' youth of India is far more diverse to have a slogan representing them. And in that lies a challenge like no other for the marketer.


Anoop Vijayan said…
Agree with u, sir. Your blogs are excellent! i am big time fan of u!
Unknown said…
Whats wrong if the marketers are making some money out of it? I would never blame them. Why should we? after all subjects like consumer behavior teach us to do so. They are doing what they are suppose to do. Obviously if the youth icon is selected by Mtv and Channel [V] the result will be like Ranbir Kapoor or another star son who wouldn't even know the "7 Ps of acting".

So my point is that the question shouldn't be "Who did Ranbir really represent?". The question is why he represents?? If the Govt recognized the youth before Mtv did and they marketed it well, maybe then the Indian youth would have a real sense of direction. These are just my views.

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