The changing face of Bollywood and Indian Consumers

Dilwale Dulhania Ke Jayenge & Dil Chahta Hai to Tiger 3 & Jawan. And, the changing face of Bollywood and Indian Consumers

If you have grown up in the 90’s in India, you could not have missed the iconic film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or DDLJ and Dil Chahta Hai or DCH. Both the films thrived on young adults falling in love with the opposite sex and also with Europe. There was not a popular youngster movie that showcased a song in Switzerland. So, every young well to do middle class Indian headed to Switzerland when they got married to be the Raj and Simran for their friends & family.

Today, when we see Tiger 3 and Jawan, we see countries like Istanbul and Russia also getting a lot of focus. In short, we may still be smitten by Switzerland, but we have more options to travel to when it comes to our first foreign visit.

The other stark changes that I find in the Bollywood today are:

  1. Fitness, fitness and fitness – Whether its SRK or its Bhai, whether it’s Nayanthara or Kat, everyone seems right out of the gym. Worked out physiques and toned bodies are in.
  2. Dads and moms are cool – Dads are no longer shown as someone who only works and lives for his family. Moms are not shown doing house chores and kitties. Dads today have a life of their own and they are also into fitness and fashionable clothes. Moms too have their own life goals. However, their dressing is more mature. Choices subtler, hanging around with the cool places of their generation. They don’t want to baby-sit their grown-up kids any more. Children live their lives and parents live their own. This opens up a whole new world of entertainment and fashion that suits the forty plus mindset.
  3. Indians are at home anywhere in the world – Gone are the days when Indians were blindly following anything that was foreign. Anything foreign meant superior quality and taste. Today, Indians are at home anywhere in the world and proud of their Indian-ness. You can see that in the social media and media coverage of the British Prime Minister of Indian Origin comfortably showcasing his Indian heritage by celebrating Diwali and Dussehra as any local festival celebrated by a foreigner. So, it opens a whole new market for Indian industries that targets NRIs and Foreign citizens of Indian origin to do mass business with these Indians who are lapping up anything popular in India – from music to clothing to entertainment.
  4. Parents are on their own. Not dependent on their children for emotional or financial support – Earlier Indians lived with their parents and the same applied to the parents when they got older. It was for difficulty in caring for old parents and the young children. Now as more and more families get nuclear and old age parents prefer to live their life after their life long ‘commitments and duties’ are over as their children fly own their own, it opens up a huge market for old age homes where elderly can live in style and enjoy their lives as they choose to, without worrying or depending about their children who might be anywhere in the world chasing their dreams
  5. The gap between Hollywood and Bollywood is narrowing – I might be laughed at for saying this. Though on the face of it our story telling styles are different. Not good, not bad – just different. But if you look at the quality of visual effects, the quality of the actions, the quality of the stars – in terms of their presentability, I think we are at par with any Hollywood films. Our stars are as good as their stars. And, very soon, with more and more Indians going abroad and staying there and influencing their cultures, we might have many foreigners who might embrace Indian movies. If they could love the film making style of Satyajit Ray in the last century, why can’t they fall in love with the story telling styles of Karan Johar or Atlee? Many of us may not remember that once Anil Ambani has taken over Steven Spielberg’s studio. And, why can’t our directors and actors take over global entertainment? Aalia bhat and Priyanka Chopra are already doing cameos in those entertainment worlds.

So how does it impact we the communicators?

We need to think of global ideas and concepts when we make the films for our products. We need to think of global standards and values without forgetting the Indian sensibilities. We have to make films that Indians from around the world can relate to. As, we might have Indians who don’t live in India who might be considering our products and services. We need to adapt to global style of story telling without losing the essence of India.

It’s not far when we will be talking about SRK and Tom Cruise in the same breath, in the same passion. So, we as comms professionals need to take the leap and globalise our craft. We cannot just be Indian anymore – we are global Indians.

Interesting times ahead!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Tilak Chowdhury
Tilak Chowdhury – Associate Director – Client Relations and Communications at DPNC Global.

DPNC Global is a lead multidisciplinary business consulting firm focused on Tax, Assurance, Regulatory, FEMA & Family Office Services in India.

He has more than 20 years of experience working with large multinational companies – both agencies and corporates. He has held senior communication profiles in French engineering major Egis, Indian Pharma MNC Jubilant and listed auto ancillary company Sharda Motors India Limited, before joining DPNC.

He has worked with some leading advertising agencies from WPP network and with some leading public relations agencies. He has extensive experience in internal and external communications that includes - employer branding, advertising, public relations, corporate communications, marketing communications, events, exhibitions and corporate & product branding.

He has worked on brands like Ambuja Cements, Taj Group of Hotels, Kinetic, Mahindra, Indian Oil etc in the past.

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