The Yuppies Return

I am in grave danger of becoming as obsessed about my hippie-yuppie-lala theory as much as Skimpy is about his studs-and-fighters theory. But there’s now a new Madhavan/ Vidya Balan Airtel ad, and considering the original set of ads was one of the original inspirations for the theory, I can’t resist. Especially considering the new ad unleashes yuppieness far more than the original set did. It’s not on YouTube yet, but the Airtel website has a low-res flash version – click the My Airtel My Offer link. I’m thrilled about this – there had been no yuppie ads by Airtel for almost a year – only ones featuring Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan as themselves, therefore hippies.

In addition to all the yuppieness that was there earlier – the contemporary furniture and the clean haircuts – Vidya Balan is reading a pink newspaper (I can’t make out if it’s the Economic Times or Business Standard), and talking about slowdowns and cutbacks. As we know, hippies inhabit a non-cash economy and lalas inhabit a black-money economy, so slowdowns and cutbacks hardly register.

The new ad also raises a question – if yuppies are back on advertising, does it indicate that the recession is drawing to a close?

Devangshu Datta of Business Standard has a theory that RK Laxman notices the state of the stock market only when valuations are so unrealistic that the market can’t get any higher or lower. So whenever there’s a Common Man cartoon that has a punchline about the stock market, it means that it’s hit a peak or a valley and has to change direction – that’s when you buy or sell. Leading on from this, I naturally want to know if a similar pattern exists with advertising. Do ads that mention a recession get aired only when the recession is about to change course? Are they as exact as the Common Man, or do they lead or lag the actual turning point by some amount of time? Or is it just completely random? I appeal to the current batch of MBA students to run the regression analysis as a term paper.

0 Replies to “The Yuppies Return”

  1. ‘As we know, hippies inhabit a non-cash economy and lalas inhabit a black-money economy, so slowdowns and cutbacks hardly register.’ Err… why?

    1. I was generalising wildly as usual. But where I was coming from is that:

      a) in black-money dominated lala family businesses, there’s enough off-balance sheet cash lying around that leverage doesn’t pinch quite as much
      b) lalas’ qualilty of life is driven by low-cost stuff like low-paid servants and inherited houses; so again declining incomes don’t pinch as much
      c) hippies function more on favours and goodwill than cash

  2. Agree on A and B, but C is more debatable. I think hippies need money in large amounts; specifically given the need to stay, err…, hip. You can’t necessarily be seen carrying the latest phones or wearing the newest fashions unless you have some fairly serious cash flow to pay for it. This may not hold true for people at the top of the hippie food chain (the Hrithik Roshans or SRKs of the world), but for aspirant hippies, income streams and cash flows have got to be essential..

    Or am I missing something here?

  3. ” if yuppies are back on advertising, does it indicate that the recession is drawing to a close?”

    – didn’t get the back logic … why would yuppies being back in advertisements indicate that recession is drawing to a close?

    otherwise, i like your hippie-yuppie theory, along with skimpy’s studs and fighters one

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