Walk the streets of Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore and you’re likely to find the usual—markets bustling with activity, kids wandering noisily, youngsters hanging out and families carrying out their daily chores. But probe any adult on how he feels about events in his world, and he’s likely to get tense. The first wave of AnxietyIndex India is out (download the presentation here), and it shows that Indians are worried. Not about military tensions around the world, the war in Afghanistan or even the state of the economy. But about crime, escalating food prices and unemployment. Worry clearly stems from issues that are here-and-now, that impact people’s day-to-day lives, that affect them directly but over which they have no control.
However, when it comes to talking about the future, Indians are upbeat. Aside from crime and terrorism, they believe most things will improve in the next six months. This makes sense given that India is sitting on some strong fundamentals: healthy economic growth in the recent past; lower impact of the global slowdown, resulting in reasonable-to-good growth forecasts; key sectors performing well, from FMCG to coal and cement; growing rural demand; and political stability.
There’s an interesting learning here for marketers–brands need to ride this wave of optimism, sparking confidence, showing the road to prosperity or promising a better lifestyle. One brand that has done this is Nokia: Its campaigns have successfully positioned the brand as a means to economic and social progress. Consider the TV spot below which highlights the economic aspirations of the brand’s target audience.