Since last fortnight, AIB has been the buzzword across various social platforms and digital media. In front of 5000 audience, leading Bollywood stars such as ‘Arjun Kapoor’, ‘Ranbir Singh’ and ‘Karan Johar’ have done everything, worth raising eyebrows and criticism. Double meaning jokes, usage of desi slangs and suggestive body language, the masala was power packed.
The controversy doesn’t seem to be chilling down so easily. Arguments against and in favor of the ‘too hot to handle event’ are making rounds. More than the issue of morality, ethicalness and impact on India’s social mindset, this event and overall changes in the society has some important lessons for marketing fraternity. Here are some of my observations.
Lesson 1: Role model need not to be 'Good Boy': Gone are those days when youngsters used to have ‘sober and ethical’ role models. From hating Bollywood Villains to applauding and following BAD BOYS, our society has come a long way. This change would have a serious impact on celebrity endorsement. Brands need not to rope in a ‘clean and clear image’ celebrity to get audience attracted. In fact…BAD is BETTER seems to be the new mantra, which reflected in AIB when, some vulgar comments were highly applauded by the audience.
Lesson 2: Outspoken, untamed and BOLD generation is here: Today’s India is not shy at all. It may be watching Sunny Leone’s ‘Manforce’ advertisement in a family sitting or announcing ‘love in the air’ on Facebook, India has become BOLD and outspoken. Today’s youth follows Virat Kolhi who blows a kiss to his girlfriend after every century. Moreover, the boldness is not restricted only to boys neither to the urban India. The marketers need to understand these social changes for better adoption of their product and services.
Lesson 3: Viral is seriously viral & contagious:AIB videos were uploaded on YouTube and it witnessed 4 million views in two days, setting a new record in digital media history. Facebook, Twitter and Watsapp got filled with these videos in no time. The kind of euphoria observed in Indian youth underlines importance of viral marketing via digital way. By 2017, there would be about 45 crore smartphones in India and marketers ability to use the digital platform would ultimately determine success and failures.
Lesson 4: The language of content has changed: A criticism against AIB was the amount of adverse impact on young generation. However, I look at AIB as a test marketing tool. This event tried to judge viewer’s perception and preferences on content language. Whether you like it or hate it, 4 million views defines the acceptance. After ‘Delhi Belly’ and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, AIB would have an impact on content quality and language used. Ultimately, the content has to deliver, what today’s audience wants.