People in India recognised the necessity of lockdowns even as they began to experience a sense of hopelessness the longer they went on, but some cohorts responded better than others, research shows.

Creative agency The Womb describes its As Is report as a study of the impact of the lockdowns on the country’s silent majorities – the people in all walks of life who aren’t voluble on social media.

The researchers asked the same set of questions to 60 participants across eight cities at three different moments – the start of lockdown, in the middle and after 60 days – and observed how people’s feelings evolved over time.

The study reported “a high level of despondency across most cohorts, but we also noticed a strangely high level of acceptance of the grim reality … a level of acceptance usually not found in western societies”.

The author, Kawal Shoor, Planner & Founding Partner of The Womb, attributes this to the ability of a faith-based society to cope better with those things they can’t understand, like COVID-19, than logic-based ones.

But the study also noted that many sections of the country have reacted in unique ways; the differing responses among the six groups identified are summarised as:

• white collar: “unabashed apathy and self-centeredness”

• blue collar: “extreme dejection”

• househelp: “stoic resilience”

• youth: “surprising maturity”

• homemaker: “desolate victim syndrome”

• trader/shopkeeper: “never-say-die spirit”

The advice proffered to any brands targeting these cohorts is to “recognise the differences in the feelings of each of these ‘segments’, and resist the temptation of carting all under one large, ‘spirit of India’ kind of finding.

“That would be oversmart and conference-room-friendly, but in real life, is unlikely to connect,” the study said.

WARC subscribers can read the full report here: As Is: a three-phase journey into the hearts and minds of Indians during the lockdown.

Sourced from The Womb, WARC