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MTV's Youth Marketing Forum treads on trend territory

MUMBAI: Those looking for the next big trend at Thursday's Youth Marketing Forum need have looked no further than MTV Networks president Bill Roedy's comment.

"The next generation in India is going to change the world," was the astute observation of the architect of MTV's internationally successful localisation model. Speakers ranging from trend spotting icon Irma Zandl to ex Reebok marketing guru Muktesh Pant to creative ad genius Peter Arnell had converged at the President Hotel, Mumbai, to focus on, identify and unravel that elusive concept that drives most programming, advertising and marketing worldwide - trendspotting.

 

In its sixth edition this year, the forum attracted a fair share of the ad, marketing and creative fraternity in the country, all eager to imbibe the experiences, observations and insights from trackers of trends like Arnell, Zandl and Pant to trendsetters themselves - filmmakers Nagesh Kukunoor and Farhan Akhtar to fashion designer Wendell Rodricks and British Asian singer Rishi Rich.

Zandl, credited with the tag of having unofficially founded the trend spotting industry, dwelt on the methodologies her research firm employs for spotting, tracking and understanding trends in the US, as well as the difference between what's a 'trend' and what's merely 'trendy' - a passing fad.

Arnell, the force that drives the creative energies for brands like DKNY, Banana Republic, Chrysler and Ray Ban, regaled attendees with his witty, often wry observations and experiences with working brands like Samsung and DKNY. Arnell and Pant, who together created the trendsetting campaign for Reebok two years ago, delineated the way in which the print and video campaigns were created and the media employed to create a 360 degree consumer experience.

Pant, who has now initiated Project Y, a 'revolutionary new brand that offers integrated facilities to offer yoga, ayurved and meditation', also spoke on how he intends to convert the age old concept into a trend in the coming year.While Wendell Rodricks spoke about his shift from western design to being influenced by indigenous art, Rishi Rich spoke about the forces that have shaped British Asian music over the decades.

One of the driving forces behind taking Bhangra and Asian sounds to a mainstream audience in the UK, Rich spoke of the trend of the Asian community sticking together in pockets in the UK, which gave rise to a distinctive style of music, influenced by Hindi music, which has ultimately received recognition by well known labels in the industry.

It was Roedy however, who rightly pointed out that trendsetting is essentially inspired by risk taking and that to set a trend, one essentially has to fight the inertia to play it safe.

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