Youth brands in India: what’s missing?

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In my opinion, the recent TV commercial from Pepsi does not connect with the youth. Youngistan may be a clever pun but I feel its trying too hard to be clever and the effort shows. As a blogger put it, it is more like Dumbistan.

Is it a function of some 40-year olds assuming what is cool with the youth and this is how we should ‘connect’ with them? When working on brands that appeal to kids (confectionery, toys etc.) one cardinal rule is not to assume that we know how today’s kids think, simply because we were kids once. Today’s kids are very different from what we were as kids some 30 years ago.

The messages that connect with today’s youth invariably leave a lot unsaid (like all good communication). The Pepsi ad with its super-hamming from SRK, the ‘look-here-this-is-how-I-got-the-idea’ kind of camera pans to ‘young’ and ‘Hindustan’ are all so A for Apple.

In contrast, check out this ad for Clearasil from the US. The proposition is nothing new: confidence. But the execution makes it connect with the young and young at heart.

Come to think of it, in a land whose youth icon is a ‘thing’ (at least according to MTV) and previous icons included celebrities who were pushing 40, is this surprising?

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