Smells like teen spirit: Asian youth in the aftermath of globalization

Madhumita Chakraborty
PepsiCo International, India

INTRODUCTION

The Waka Waka anthem was a huge success – that is a known fact. But what is relatively less known is that there were more downloads for the song in India – a country that does not play or watch soccer, has relatively low internet penetration and where Shakira was relatively unknown before the World Cup - than in many soccer playing nations. No doubt, the song was well marketed and would appeal to Indians’ penchant for beats. But underpinning this was the fact that for a certain sect of Asian youth - the one that is on Facebook, attends English speaking schools and watches MTV - Waka Waka was a global rage.

The potential size and growing affluence in Asian countries mean most MNCs are making a beeline for Asia, especially China and India, in the hope of catching them young. And so they will like you to believe that today more Asian teens are watching Hollywood flicks and munching on french fries from McDonald’s in their low waisted Levis than are their American counterparts.