Selling ordinary small townness

In Indian cinema, TV, stand-up comedy, you notice the rise of performers who not only are from small-town India but actively use reference material from life back there to great success.

Interestingly, their audience is often the relatively well-heeled elites of India, living in the larger metros. The ‘people like us’ (PLUs) as they are called.

The small town, lower-middle-class average looking person was a source of humor earlier too, but it involved the audience laughing ‘at’ them and their lack of sophistication.

Today the laughter often comes from a sense of recognition of one’s own reality being worn effortlessly by these performers.

A large chunk of this audience has been shaped by the demands of multinationalisation and corporatization of India shining, through the last three decades. They learnt image management, losing the native accent, and embracing the art of self-presentation, honed in professional colleges and offices.

While a marker of progress, the fakeness of it all has perhaps been becoming increasingly bothersome deep down.

Seeing these performers is not just a blast from the past, but a breath of fresh air, lowering the fakeness, even if momentarily.

Do you see this reflecting in your strategy?