I was married once. Now I just lease. (Quote: Lady Astor 1879-1964)

How could Lady Astor have known that a smart quip like that in the Victorian Era, would become much of a norm in the 21st century! Surely it’s emerging as an expression of cool, at least in the context of some teen relationships portrayed in modern India.

Let’s take movies & brand advertising. At one end we have stories of togetherness, couples buying a home, dissolving differences etc. and at the other end we have stories of relationships going kaput, boys and girls moving on, quoting flimsy reasons etc. The value borders ensure married couples are celebrating the former (togetherness bit) and young ones in relationships are enjoying the latter (time to move on bit). So isn’t this hot button among young unmarried couples, all about unbridled leasing? Insights in both the story telling media i.e films and advertising, have moved from transparent teen fun & excitement to the many shades of teen wickedness & self stroking.

3 stories remind me how easy it is to move on in relationships without even an iota of remorse. Better still one story ends with the couple deciding to have a break up party. Teens today are willingly immersing themselves in the likely impermanence of their time together. And the insights are merely using the confident, bold strokes painted by both sexes in openly altering their status from: In a Relationship to It’s Complicated to Single.

Watch a 2009 film clip of Love Aaj Kal, for the casualness of the inevitable. Long distance relationships don’t make the heart grow fonder do they?!!


A couple of brands have also captured this breakup moment & fueled it with the excitement of ‘what next’, almost giving a positive tone to the concept of drifting apart. Insights around the teen world have definitely come a long way from the Fanta Orange fun days.  Am sure there is an interesting psyche scramble that needs to be decoded with respect to teens, say, even in the online space. What makes them pay scant regard to legitimate download and what’s the twist that online movie/music brands may need to lay out to get into their zones! More of that later.

Titan Fastrack (2008)


Tata Docomo


On a lighter note, divorce cakes are on the prowl. Enjoy some versions…

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  1. its all a bit schizophrenic … and in that sense so very much a reflection of teen behavior pretty much everywhere… so much need for freedom but also so much neediness…. (in my observations of this group …belonging comes up as the central need for these teen somethings and gets manifested in a myriad different ways : early relationships, insecurities, brotherhoods, social behavioral issues and more & more complex relationships on and off line …)

    • Hi Chewbecca. Urban teens are more homogeneous these days I think. i wonder how promiscuous is their relationship with brands today. Will loyalty programs work at all or something experiential on a regular basis will keep them coming back for more!!

  2. I think youth insights from an advertising standpoint are easy to decode. All you need to do is track the pattern at a global more so american stage. Then replicate it in India. Do you think the masses and the docomo or fastrack buyer is really enjoying impermanence in relationships? As a dollop of humor it is ok. But as a brands very foundation it seems forced. The Brief: Want 5% youth customers

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