Shah Rukh Khan, the king of Bollywood, has once again proved his star power with his latest film Jawan, a dark action thriller directed by Atlee. The film, which also stars Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi, has smashed several box office records and received critical acclaim for its gripping story, stunning visuals, and powerful performances. Jawan is not just a typical masala entertainer, but a film that explores various social and political issues that affect India and its neighboring countries.
What is Mass Culture?
Mass culture is a term that refers to the culture that emerges from the mass media and is distributed to a large and diverse audience. Mass culture is produced by mass production industrial techniques and is marketed for a profit to a mass public of consumers. Mass culture is different from the culture that arises from the day-to-day interactions of individuals. Mass culture may also be challenged or criticized as a myth or a negative influence.
‘Mass Film/Entertainment’ has been or still is considered as a source of low-quality entertainment for a long time, that is, ‘Mass’ entertainment is absurd and nonsensical. Any drama or movie of this genre is thrown at a crowd and the crowd decides how good it will be or how much business it will succeed. Here, only what the crowd wants to see, what dreams the crowd has, what anger, love, joy or pain they have, are brought to the fore when they are unexpressed.
‘Mass Media/Entertainment’ mainly depends on TRP/Box Office Collection. So it is necessary to read consumer behavior very well and present the information obtained from it as ‘Mass’. The purpose of ‘Mass Film’ is not how good art or whether any message was possible to give to the society through that art!
How Jawan Represents Mass Culture
Jawan is a film that appeals to the mass culture of its target audience by using various elements and strategies. Some of these are:
- The use of popular stars who have a huge fan following and charisma. Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most successful and influential actors in Indian cinema, with a global fan base. Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi are also well-known and respected actors in South Indian cinema, especially in Tamil Nadu.
- The use of multiple languages and subtitles to reach a wider market. Jawan was released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, and English languages. The film also had subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese languages.
- The use of spectacular action sequences and visual effects to create excitement and spectacle. Jawan has some of the most impressive action scenes ever seen in Indian cinema, featuring high-speed chases, explosions, gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, and stunts. The film also has stunning cinematography and production design that create a realistic and immersive world.
- The use of catchy songs and music to enhance the mood and emotion of the film. Jawan has a soundtrack composed by A.R. Rahman, one of the most acclaimed and popular music composers in India. The film features six songs that range from romantic to patriotic to upbeat. The songs are sung by various singers in different languages.
- The use of social commentary and criticism to address relevant and contemporary issues. Jawan tackles various topics such as farmer suicides, loan defaulting, crony capitalism, corruption, drug trafficking, communalism, health care, democracy, and nationalism. The film does not shy away from exposing the flaws and evils of the system and society.
- The use of emotional appeal and sentimentality to connect with the audience. Jawan has several scenes that evoke strong emotions such as anger, sadness, joy, pride, and love. The film also has moments of humor and romance that lighten the mood . The film makes the audience empathize with the characters and their struggles.
How Jawan Uses Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior is how people feel and think when they are deciding whether to buy a product. In the study of consumer behavior, researchers might examine what people buy, when and how often they buy it, where they usually buy it, why they buy it and more. For example, in analyzing antiperspirant sales, researchers may notice that people usually buy this product more frequently in the summer, typically in pharmacies and grocery stores, and that this is because consumers are likely more concerned about managing their perspiration when the weather is hot. Knowing the what, where and why can inform retailers and companies on how to adjust their marketing to emphasize deodorant sales at certain times of the year. Strategies like this that are based on consumer behavior analytics have the potential to increase sales.
Jawan uses consumer behavior to understand what its audience wants to see and how to appeal to them. For example, the film uses popular stars who have a loyal fan base that will watch their movies regardless of the genre or quality. The film also uses multiple languages and subtitles to cater to different regions and cultures that have different preferences and tastes. The film also uses action sequences and visual effects to attract attention and create excitement among the viewers who enjoy thrill and spectacle.
Jawan also uses consumer behavior to influence its audience’s emotions, attitudes and preferences. For example, the film uses catchy songs and music to create an emotional link between the product (the film) and the audience. The songs convey messages such as love, patriotism or happiness that the audience can relate to or aspire to. The film also uses social commentary and criticism to make the audience believe that they need the product or the idea that the film is promoting. The film exposes the problems and challenges that the audience faces in their real lives such as farmer suicides, loan defaulting or corruption and offers solutions or alternatives through the film’s characters or plot.
Jawan is a film that not only represents mass culture but also uses consumer behavior to influence its audience.
How Jawan Uses Advertising Magic
Advertising magic is a term coined by Raymond Williams to describe how advertising transforms commodities into glamorous signifiers that present an imaginary world. According to Williams, advertising creates a magic system that operates on two levels: one is the level of the product itself, which is presented as a solution to a problem or a source of satisfaction; the other is the level of the social or personal values that are associated with the product, which are presented as desirable or aspirational.
Jawan uses advertising magic to create an imaginary world that sells a product or an idea to its audience. For example, the film uses spectacular action sequences and visual effects to present a world of adventure, danger and heroism that is appealing to the audience’s sense of thrill and excitement. The film also uses catchy songs and music to present a world of romance, patriotism and happiness that is appealing to the audience’s sense of emotion and sentiment. The film also uses social commentary and criticism to present a world of injustice, oppression and corruption that is appealing to the audience’s sense of morality and justice.
Jawan is a film that uses advertising magic to create an imaginary world that sells not only a product (the film itself) but also a lifestyle, a value system or a worldview.
How Grameenphone’s Advertising Relates to Jawan
Grameenphone is the largest telecom company in Bangladesh that has increased its advertising and promotion expense by 10.4% in the first nine months of 2021. Grameenphone’s advertising focuses mainly on promoting bundle services that offer voice, data and other benefits for its customers. Grameenphone’s advertising also features emotional stories of its customers who use its services to connect with their loved ones, achieve their goals or overcome their challenges.
Grameenphone’s advertising relates to Jawan in several ways. Both use consumer behavior and advertising magic to appeal to their target audience. Both use emotional appeal and sentimentality to create an emotional link between their products (the telecom services or the film) and their customers or viewers. Both use social commentary and criticism to expose the problems and challenges that their customers or viewers face in their real lives such as poverty, education or health care and offer solutions or alternatives through their products (the bundle services or the film’s characters or plot). Both use catchy songs and music to enhance the mood and emotion of their products (the telecom services or the film). Both use multiple languages and subtitles to reach a wider market.
Grameenphone’s advertising relates to Jawan because both represent mass culture in Bangladesh and India. Both reflect the aspirations, frustrations, dreams, fears, values, and beliefs of millions of people who live in these regions. Both resonate with the masses because they speak to them in their own language and style. Both challenge the status quo and inspire change.
In one advertisement, a fisherman’s son gets A+ in SSC exam. When he got the news, his father was not with him. He was busy fishing in the river. But suddenly he was able to send the news to his father through Grameenphone network and he was extremely happy, thrilled, tears in his eyes.
There is no direct or indirect connection between a SIM card or network connection and the life of a farmer/fisherman/day laborer in Bangladesh. But this advertisement was so hit at that time that it forced us to think about the power of Grameenphone network and how it can change lives. The advertisement used advertising magic to create an imaginary world where a simple SIM card or network connection can make dreams come true. The advertisement also used consumer behavior to appeal to the emotions and aspirations of the viewers who could relate to the fisherman’s son’s success and his father’s joy. The advertisement also used social commentary and criticism to highlight the lack of education and opportunities for the rural poor in Bangladesh and how Grameenphone can help them overcome these barriers.
The advertisement was a perfect example of how Grameenphone’s advertising relates to Jawan and how both use mass culture to influence their audience.
Jawan is a film that represents and influences mass culture in India and Bangladesh. It is a film that uses various elements and strategies to appeal to the masses, such as popular stars, multiple languages, action sequences, catchy songs, social commentary, and emotional appeal. It is a film that uses consumer behavior and advertising magic to create an imaginary world that sells not only a product (the film itself) but also a lifestyle, a value system or a worldview. It is a film that relates to Grameenphone’s advertising, which also uses similar techniques to promote its telecom services and connect with its customers. Jawan and Grameenphone’s advertising are examples of how mass culture can be used to influence the emotions, attitudes and preferences of millions of people who live in these regions. Jawan and Grameenphone’s advertising are also examples of how mass culture can challenge the status quo and inspire change. Jawan is not just a film; it is a phenomenon. It is a mass culture masterpiece.
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