Aspirations of youth in Bharat & India closer than ever: Navin Shenoy, MTV India

For over 2 decades, MTV has led the way in understanding the pulse of its young audience. MTV has been focussing on the changing mindsets of the Indian youth through its longest running Youth Insights Study – MTV Insights Studio. Titled ‘MTV Mera Bharat Amazeballs’, the 2020 edition of the study explores the multi-dimensional and conscientious facets of the youth – highlighting their belief in a new India, that is replete with opportunities and progress and in alignment with their world view.

From 78 per cent of young people putting more onus on family over career to 83 per cent preferring to work in their hometowns, the case study covers insights from 25,000 + youngsters across 400+ cities between the age of 15 and 25 years. The five key themes of the study are – ‘Make India Great Again’, ‘Bharat = India’, ‘Girl on Top’, ‘Thank God Its Family’ and ‘I am Who I am’.

MTV Insights Studio launches Youth Marketing Study 2020

Navin Shenoy, Head of Marketing, MTV India, links this change in attitude to the shortening of the content divide. Data access and smartphone availability means that audiences in ‘small town India’ watch the same kind of content that people in metros do. A great example is the video of farmers grooving to the Kiki challenge which went viral on social media.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has declared that the e-commerce player has 100 per cent serviceable pin codes in India and 55 per cent of monthly online shoppers are expected to come from Tier 2 and 3 towns this year. The study predicts that with the changing attitudes of youth and e-commerce penetration, domestic migration might come to an end.

While MTV is the most viewed youth TV channel, it acknowledged that to penetrate the heartland of India it couldn’t just wait for TV penetration to increase. So, it began building its brand aggressively via digital platforms and VOOT.

TV Kahaan Gaya?

Today, MTV claims to reach 250-300 viewers annually via their channels. On VOOT, which has a reach of 100 million, about 30 per cent or 100 billion minutes of MTV content is consumed every month. The platform agnostic content creator has been building its presence over digital, where they engage about 80-100 million users via digital and social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube). (Data provided by MTV and sourced from various media reports)

Unlike mainstream GEC, it is not FMCG brands but rather e-commerce, social engagement platforms, aggregators, dating apps and other digital brands who are partnering with MTV to reach the increasingly connected regional audience. These advertisers are looking at the TV+ (TV+OTT+Digital) viewership of the brand and are looking at property sponsorships and brand integrations rather than spot buys.

“A TV+ offering is on the roadmap for every OTT in the country with a TV channel. In terms, of scale we have reached where we want to be – as a cross-platforms solution, but there are other things that need to be worked out before we actually offer it,” said Shenoy.

MTV has built an expertise in creating content that engages the youth audience. They partner with brands to various degrees. Shenoy explained, “LinkedIn comes to us to create a platform, ‘Get a Job’ and keep the content and platform alive each year. Airbnb wants to create a perception of having premium properties, so we got a Saif-Kareena duo shoot a set of webisodes and get it out there.” Shenoy revealed that interest levels in brand integration and property sponsorship are at a peak “most brands are looking for a specialised solution rather than a plain inventory buy”.

The trends in the Youth Insights Study not only inform about MTV’s marketing communications, but also their content and programming strategy. “Our study reveals that youth today are very action oriented and want to bring a change to their environment. The theme of this year’s ‘Roadies’ will be Revolution. As the show rolls out next month, it will not only be about physical/ mental tasks but also causes. Last year, we launched a show called MTV Hustle which is a Hip Hop reality show. This was because young people are increasingly seeing talent as marker of success more than anything else. The second trend is that there is a underground current of Hip Hop in the country because Bollywood music was perceived as being too much masala with very little meaning in the lyrics. Hip Hop is more poetry driven where the lyrics have meaning. Basis of this, we decided it was the right time to launch a show on talent and Hip Hop and Season 2 will be out in a couple of months,” he added.

Shenoy further said, “On the social front, we did a campaign during Dussehra where we created a 20-foot tall plastic ‘Trash Asura’ and burnt it down, communicating that plastic is the new Raavan.”

Here’s a creative showcase of MTV past campaigns informed by the Youth Insights Study.

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