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Curious Minds to Curate themselves!

MTV, over the years has developed itself to a youth marketing brand which is known for innovating content. The channel has once again delved deep into the needs and demands of its target audience with its innovative research ‘Curious Minds’. Since the young in India are re-inventing themselves, MTV India organized the MTV Youth Marketing Forum to give some clues about how to de-code them. This year, the forum’s focus was on ‘The Curious Minds’ study which highlighted some interesting insights on how today’s young people are evolving.

As like, every year, MTV undertakes a massive research to understand what makes its core audience – the youth- make the choices that they do. The findings and insights gathered from this research are then presented through interactive seminars and presentations every year at the MTV Youth Marketing Forum, thus making it the ultimate word on the youth.

Also interestingly this year, MTV had conversations with more than 11,000, so almost doubled last year’s sample size, young people across more than 40 cities, again doubling the geographies, across Sec A & B in India to find out what exactly what makes them tick. Apart from adding more geographies and expanding the sample size, MTV has spoken to youth across 13-25 years as the definition of youth is getting stretched.

Adgully caught up with Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV India and Sumeli Chatterjee, Head Marketing, Media and Insights, MTV India and Indies to know more and get some deeper insights.

Speaking about choosing the theme, Swamy said, “Youth is the fastest changing and evolving group among all the other group of audiences. And being a Youth brand we at MTV have to be up-to-the changing needs and demands of the Youth of our country, hence MTV is not confused but is going on the right track! Looking at the growing curiosity and enthusiasm of the Youth today in terms of being up-to-date in all forms, interestingly today young people are using their curiosity to curate their lives. With this we got an opportunity to build strong connects with young people through cutting edge content. Think Young, Think MTV.”

In terms of sample size and geographies, Chatterjee said, “Yes, it was a challenge to double our reach and sample size this year hence it took us seven long months to make our research ready and come up with the results. We created a lot of buzz for research on social media which also helped us.”

When asked to give some interesting insights of the research, Swamy said, “Well, there a lots of such interesting points like today the Youth is using words like: hardworking, open-minded, happy, confident, creative and loving to describe themselves. Not only this, today they have become all the more buoyant and positive towards life. Rather sticking to one thing, they want to explore more and believe in killing their boredom with more of entertainment.”

Adding further to the insights she said, “We have got a lot interesting insights like: Youth wants respect, they do not want to take shortcuts, they are against cheating, they look forward to their parents as their peers, no bars between girls and boys, Youth today believes in evaluating themselves more than others and much more.”

“What has made us proud is that MTV –The Curious Minds study has also been selected for presentation at Esomar Congress, which helped us in formulating our research, (Nice, France) on basis of the cutting edge research methodologies used for this study,” Chatterjee added. 

Also what makes MTV stand out is the fact that they have been using these insights quite literally in their programming and content strategy.

Explaining that Swamy said, “Of-course yes we do. Giving an example, our show called Webbed is focused towards how Youth needs to be careful and smart while being a part of growing internet penetration; we have a tagline called ‘Stay Smart Stay Safe’. The insight that we got here was that still a large number of girls and boys study in separate colleges and hence a girl connects to a boy for the first time on web.”

Swamy believes that such an insight wouldn’t have been explored without going deep into the minds of Youth today. Having said that Swamy stated the fact that undoubtedly all the insights that the ‘Curious Minds’ research has pointed out would be used and incorporated in
MTV’s content and programming strategy going further down the line.

And yes, if we recollect MTV’s change in philosophy was quite evident with its most popular show, ‘Roadies’ wherein earlier the philosophy was Raghu + vote-outs = Politics but it has moved on to Ranveejay + no vote-outs = Performance. He said, “The reason behind the same was to transform politics which lead to aggressiveness to performance which reflected the capabilities and passion of the contestant.”  Also the look and feel of the channel has been changed a bit; from ‘Stay Raw’ which was very grunge to ‘Kill Boring’, wherein the channel is more happy, vibrant and confident as that’s how the youth is.

Well, giving his take on the growth of Branded Content, Swamy said, “It will grow for sure and such content gives the brands an opportunity to peg into the right kind of content that they were looking for. To produce and think is a challenge at times but it is fun for us and really good in terms of sales for the brand.” Having said that, Swamy believes that what is important is content. If the content is good people will automatically accept the brand in terms of getting that content for them and will gain goodwill.

The channel is seen transforming itself as per the changing needs and demands of its target audiences and we all would love to look forward for the fact that how MTV’s newly polished content.         

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