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MTV’s Many Me: Youth find flaws to be cool

Drawing many preferences in the behaviour of today’s youth, MTV’s regular youth study has revealed how the youngsters are now more open to accepting their flaws

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | May 2, 2016

(L-R) Ferzad Palia, Yuvraj Singh and Sudhanshu Vats (L-R) Ferzad Palia, Yuvraj Singh and Sudhanshu Vats

Carried out every two years, MTV’s research on youth has revealed how they are more pro inspiring others, accepting their flaws, skewed towards entrepreneurship and consider emotion to be strength.

A qualitative and quantitative research had a sample size of over 11,000 youngsters from over 50 towns and cities in the ag group of 13-25 years. For the first time this year, the research has included the NCCS C segment too, considering how this section of audiences have been included in BARC India and many other platform researches.

The study was presented to a section of media by Ferzad Palia, Executive Vice President, Viacom18 and Head, Youth and English Entertainment and Sumeli Chatterjee, Head, Marketing, Media and Insights Youth Cluster, Viacom18.

Some of the insights from the study are pointed out herewith:

The youth are not looking at shortcuts any more. This generation knows that they need to be working hard and in the right direction. They are pro-multitasking and many agree to having multiple personalities (online and offline).

The advantage of being in a metro or the disadvantage of living in a smaller town is diminishing, as it comes to the behaviour of the youth. They are equally attentive and almost equally informed.

The youth today has come out of the fairy tale world and ‘realism’ is the new fact for them. They are aware of their positions, the amount of hard work they need to put in to achieve things. If we can term it as the happiness index, Palia mentions how it has come down from probably 94-95 percent (2011) to 89 per cent (2014) to the current 73 percent in the recent study of 2016.

The purpose of using technology has also changed largely. Earlier, when youth considered it more to be a tool for communication and draw equality, now, it is more about choices, convenience and the ability to do things on the go.

The youth today is growing more ‘flawsome’ in the sense that they know, understand, accept and are ready to mend the flaws in them. Whether it is beauty, appearance, knowledge or the inability of excessive study, they know their flaws and are ready to flaunt it, instead of hide it.

Youth are pro being ‘bold with a purpose’ rather than just being bold and bullish. Brands who really want to have the youth, need to portray a larger purpose and stand by it. The youth today is ready to inspire and he/ she understands how ‘I would get respect if I am able to inspire’.

Close to 81 per cent of the sample size has shown skewed interests towards self-employment and entrepreneurship, rather than working in an established company, reporting into somebody.

Emotional Quotient is equally important as the intellectual quotient for today’s youth. They are not shying away from expressing emotions.

Youth, today, is more skewed towards non-committal relationships. It helps them in focussing on their career choices and other interests. The mindset is not restricted to the metros and mega cities, it is coming from across the cross section of society.

Content consumption is perceived very seriously by the younger ones today. The generation is looking at the characters and really learning from them. They are supporting celebrities not just for what they perform, but for what they stand for in their personal and professional lives. Content is like hangover for them, with more and more thoughts, discussions and talks about what they are watching.

Humour is huge for the youth today. They aren’t afraid of making fun of themselves. Humour is everywhere for them, be it profile pics, status, updates, shares or posts. However, mindfresh humour is not equal to mindless content anymore. They want humour with logic and sense.

Palia said, “We use this study extensively in-house for MTV and our other youth brands. We have a base of about 8-9 study reports and we really use them for content and marketing strategies for our brands. We also consult clients and brands basis the study. We will soon be presenting this to our clients.”

Explaining the theme of ‘The Many Me Project’ further, Palia said, “The Many Me Project is a look into the ever changing, ever dynamic youth of India. The headline of what has emerged is that today young people are fascinatingly multidimensional and multi-faceted. For them, being multitasking isn’t enough, they want to be multi-achievers. The world of the young is changing rapidly and the pace of this change is only doubling with time. At MTV, the universe of the young, we are passionate about tracking this change, because today, more than ever, the youth is incredibly dynamic. What’s more, they expect us, their brands, to be as dynamic, ever evolving and layered. It is a great pleasure for me to share these insights in order to help youth marketers build a strong connect with young people through cutting edge content.”

Sumeli Chatterjee Sumeli Chatterjee

Chatterjee explained how the study is useful while deciding on the marketing initiatives. “We recently did a project called Junkyard with wifi enabled bins. It definitely helps us in understanding which interactions will benefit and intrigue our TG that is youth. Hygiene and cleanliness has ranked as an important aspect that the youth are keen on working. Similarly, there are many insights which we might use.”

The insights gathered from this research were presented through interactive seminars and presentations every year at the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 2016 on Friday, April 29, 2016 in Delhi, which also featured renowned trend speakers across the world such as: Ferzad Palia, Head, Youth and English Entertainment, Viacom18 Mike Reiss- Co-creator, producer and writer of The Simpsons Cindy Gallop- Founder, MakeLovenotPorn and IfWeRantheWorld Will Sansom- Director, Content & Strategy, Contagious Insider Kerry Taylor- SVP, Youth and Music, Viacom International & CMO, Viacom UK Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran- CEOs, GoDimensions (India’s youngest CEOs) Yuvraj Singh, Ace Indian Cricketer and Youth Icon

Speaking about the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 2016, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “As a content powerhouse, it is mandatory for us to understand the pulse of our audience. Hence, MTV’s constant endeavor to understand its primary target audience – the youth, what they are up to and how they feel about various aspects of life - is extremely crucial. For the last 10 years, MTV has been working incessantly to understand every nuance of each interaction young people have amongst themselves and their media consumption habits.  It is these patterns of consumption and interaction which then form the basis of everything we do at MTV. The headline study for this year - ‘MTVMany Me Project’ - has thrown up some fascinating insights into the lives and minds of this absolutely dynamic demographic. I am positive that every single person who has been a part of the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 2016 will now be able to decode the ever-changing youth of India much better!”

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