Can youth be categorised as a specific demography? When for some, youth marketing is more about targeting a mindset, is age the right classification?
For K Ramakrishna, President, Marketing, Café Coffee Day, youth is not a segment anymore. He stated, “I don’t like to define youth by demographics. Youth in 70s was the ‘I, me, us’ generation; in 80s, it became ‘I am what I am’ and post 90s, it has turned out to be ‘I am myself’ generation. Today, we are talking to people who want to be themselves. One basic element of youth is their confidence and if we could measure it, there would be a hundred-fold jump today.”
Ravi Dixit, Network Research Head, UTV Global Broadcasting, confessed that communicating with the youth was complex. He said, “For the last six weeks in a row UTV Bindass is No.1. The 17-21 age group is our TG, and we have integrated words like ‘Jugad’, ‘Jhol, in the programming content and it has clicked.” Citing an example, he said, “Emotional Attyachar’ is not just what we see – it is a learning too. We get an insight on how to deal with break-ups, what are the differences and if there’s a generation gap. It is not just about fearless fun but there could be a lot of learning to be taken away from it. That’s the key driver. If they are cross-communicating without a lot of depth, it is working.”
While, Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer, Bates 141, pitched the idea of ‘Brave Marketing’ and said, “Building brands go by the image. For example, if a guy has piercings and accessories on him, he is supposedly a cool person who likes to listen to music but here’s a person who doesn’t appear like that and yet he could also be cool and likes listening to music. So we have to have ‘Brave Marketing’ in which we can’t afford to play safe. Youth doesn’t learn through manuals, they learn through experiments.”
Youth brands have to let go of fear of failure as the young audience is willing to forgive you. Today’s generation is born with a silver spoon and are looking for way of twisting traditional advertising. Lara Balsara, Executive Director, Madison World, questioned how a channel like UTV Bindass tried to reach out to a wider audience. Dixit informed, “We go on-ground to understand youth and are balanced in our approach. There still are restrictions in the society where there is okay to go out with family late night but not with friends and as we move towards rural areas these differences stare in your face.”
How does brand like Café Coffee Day engages the youth, Balsara asked Ramakrishna. He replied, “We never have had money to go on television,” he light-heartedly remarked, adding “For instance, in social media space, we apply the rule of co-creation. We recently did a survey where we asked people if chocolate fantasy was to be made better, how it should be. We gave them options like health oriented etc. but the answer was unanimous – they wanted more chocolate in it. This way it the medium is leveraged and the brand is driven the way we want it to be driven.”
Café Coffee Day hasn’t advertised on television medium, and hence it was more to do with activations wherein a celebrity is involved. “We have occasions when they want to promote their movies and they look for us. Movies like ‘Love Aaj Kal’ have co-branded with us and when the celeb comes to our joints, it generates walk-ins.”
Ramakrishnan, Sinha, Dixit and Lara Balsara were speaking at e4m Youth Marketing Summit, presented by UTV Bindass, in association with Mudra Concrea and Tuborg Strong.