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Grey study on home-makers busts stereotypes

Ajita Shashidhar
Sriram Srinivasan

Chennai , April 2

IF you are an ad filmmaker who is trying to promote a fairness cream by getting an ideal daughter-in-law like Tulsi (of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi fame) to endorse it, think again. The campaign may not succeed in being appealing to its target audience at all.

The homemakers of tomorrow, according to a study titled `Eves Dropping' conducted by Grey Cells, the strategic planning division of Grey Worldwide, will be a versatile and multifaceted lot, who are financially independent and prefer not to don the stereotypical roles of being an ideal daughter-in-law or a daughter, whose entire life revolves around her family's happiness.

"The young woman of today wants her family to revolve around her and she desires to be accepted as she is. She wants her financial independence to continue even after marriage and motherhood and is looking for a life-partner who is sensitive, not bossy, and who would participate equally in handling the regular household chores," says Mr Naresh Gupta, National Head, Account Planning, Grey Worldwide.

The study, which is aimed at understanding the women consumers of tomorrow, has been conducted through a survey among 4,000 unmarried women in the age group of 19-24 from SEC A&B across the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Lucknow.

Seventy-two per cent of the women, says the study, consider money, fame and success as the driving factors for a good life. That they are particular about having their own financial independence, and don't want any interference about how they should spend it. Nearly half the surveyed women believe a career in TV journalism would bring them fame and success. The other preferred career paths are management, designing and advertising. Medicine, which for a long time ruled the preferences of young women, now seems to have gone out of favour.

The study also shows that the modern Indian woman no longer hesitates to indulge in conspicuous consumption as she has the money power to do so. Impulse buying, as per the study, is on the rise, with the young homemakers makers willing to experiment with new age appliances, ready-to-eat foods and so on.

"A new age homemaker's priorities largely seem to be driven by status symbols, as the bulk of our respondents preferred buying a cell phone or a microwave before going for essentials such as a refrigerator or a washing machine. Similarly, possessing a big car was considered a necessity to prove success, though the definition of a big car varied between the respondents of a big city and a small city," said Mr Gupta.

He said that the divide between a small and a big town is gradually diminishing as the women today seem to share converging attitudes and beliefs.

The study also reveals a drastic change in preferences in the kind of movies or TV serials they would like to watch. "The portrayal of Indian women in the roles of an adarsh bahu like Tulsi or Parvati are soon going to become passť. The Indian women prefer more realistic portrayals of everyday life as it has been done in films like Dil Chahta Hai or Jhankar Beats," said Mr Gupta.

"Marketers and advertisers need to re-look at their strategies and advertising content. We have to change the way we look at our own audience in accordance with the changes these new age women are driving," he added.

While the study is free for the Grey clients, it is available to the non-Grey clients at Rs 25,000. Mr Gupta claimed that the agency has already sold 15 copies of the study.

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