The Indian bureaucracy is a major journalistic niche, especially in Delhi where a number of magazines (Governance Now, Bureaucracy Today, etc) and websites (Gfiles, Whispers in the Corridor, etc) have sprouted to help readers navigate their way through the thickets of redtape.
Archive for the 'Advertising' Category
A full-page advertisement on the back page of the Bombay newspaper, DNA, hitting out at you-know-who:
From luring the brands with incentives to no-escape clauses in their advertising contracts, the industry is stooping to newer lows for gaining advertising revenue. However, at DNA, we still hold a torch to some old-fashioned traditional values. Our principles guide us.
# We have no qualms if you choose to advertise in other publications along with DNA.
# You are free to decide how much of your communication budget you want to spend with us.
# With whom do you want to advertise first is absolutely your call.
# There is no clause to lock-in ads with us for any particular duration of time.
# The ownership pattern of your company is exclusively your domain and is most sacrosanct to us. We are not going to barter the ad space in DNA for stakes in your company’s ownership.
Link via M.V.J. Kar
The Times of India carries this front page advertisement in its Madras edition today, in response to The Hindu‘s video campaign which was a response to The Times‘ insinuation in an earlier TVC that the “Mount Road Mahavishnu ” put readers to sleep.
Also read: Good morning, it’s time to go back to bed
It is never a pretty sight when a giant wakes up after a nice, long slumber.
After snoring through the thinly veiled insinuations of The Times of India that it was a sleeping inducing newspaper, The Hindu has woken up with a jolt through three TV, super-aggressive commercials that are already airing on television channels in the South.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that while the young and ignorant reader of The Times of India fed on the 5Fs—fun, frolic, froth, fashion, and fornication—-is clearly its target, The Hindu‘s TVCs seem like a direct assault on ads issued by The Times‘ competitor in Bombay, DNA, for its city supplement, After Hours, last year.
Worse, as longtime media watchers will remember, Stay Ahead Of The Times is a cliche as punchline which several of Times‘ competitors have used, including Hindustan Times in Delhi in the mid 1990s.
Also read: Good morning, it’s time to go back to bed
Typically, newspaper apologies in India are buried in some far corner, regardless of the extent of the error, so that no one really notices.
Market leader The Times of India sets a precedent with a 15 cm x 15 cm, three-column apology on page 3 of its New Delhi edition for a February 2008 story that had cast aspersions on the “character and background” of two young adults involved in a road accident in the national capital.
“While we did make an attempt at clarifying the inaccuracy of details through an article dated October 3, 2008, published in the Noida Plus edition [where the story was originally published], by mentioning regrets for some comments of parents, we understand that it did not explain the situation completely as the allegations/comments of the parents were false and inaccurate…. Through this article, we sincerely regret the unwarranted pain, anguish, suffering and ill-fame caused to the departed souls, Anirudh Rawat and Sneha Kapoor, and their families, by way of our news article.”
Covering 225 square centimetres, the size of the ToI apology works out to the equivalent of approximately Rs 8 lakh of advertising calculated using its Delhi ad tariff card, where each square centimetre of black-and-white space for a display ad costs Rs 3,455.
PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There are 58 government advertisements amounting to 26¼ pages in 12 English newspapers today to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In contrast, there were 108 ads amounting to 48 pages to mark his grandson, Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday in August.
All told, so far this year, between three death anniversaries (Nehru’s, Rajiv’s, Indira Gandhi‘s) and two birth anniversaries (Rajiv’s and Indira’s), various ministries of the Union government and Congress-ruled State governments have spent taxpayers’ money in buying 323 advertisements amounting to 158¼ published pages in the 12 surveyed newspapers.
The breakup of the Jawaharlal Nehru ads are as under:
Hindustan Times: 24-page main issue; 11 Nehru ads amounting to 4½ broadsheet pages
The Times of India: 30-page issue; 9 ads amounting to 3¾ broadsheet pages
Indian Express: 24-page issue; 9 ads amounting to 4¼ broadsheet pages
Mail Today (compact): 36-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 2¼ compact pages
The Hindu: 24-page issue; 7 ads amounting to 2¾ broadsheet pages
The Pioneer: 16-page issue; 5 ads amounting to 2¼ broadsheet pages
The Statesman: 16-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ broadsheet pages
The Telegraph: 22-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1 broadsheet page
The Economic Times: 30-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ broadsheet pages
Business Standard: 16-page issue; 2 ads amounting to 1 page
Financial Express: 22-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ page
Mint (Berliner): 24-page issue; 0 ads
This computation is only for 12 English newspapers; many other English papers have been left, as indeed has the entire language media which are more numerous than the English ones, several times over.
Among the advertisers wishing the dear departed leader happy birthday this year are the ministries of information and broadcasting, commerce and industry, steel, women and child development, health and family welfare, human resource development, micro small and medium enterprises, youth affairs and sports.
The state governments advertising their love are those of Rajasthan and Delhi. Besides, there are ads of Nehru Yuva Kendra and the national book trust.0
Last year, on the 19th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in an edit-page article in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that on May 21, 2010, perhaps Rs 60 or 70 crore were spent by the taxpayer — without his and her consent — on praising Rajiv Gandhi. Since the practice has been in place since 2005, the aggregate expenditure to date on this account is probably in excess of Rs 300 crore.”
Just because 96-year-old Khushwant Singh called it the “most readable daily in the world” recently, it doesn’t mean the matter is closed and beyond debate.
Far from it.
The Times of India thankfully thinks just the opposite of Singh “insofaras The Hindu is concerned” in this new TV commercial for ToI‘s three-year-old Madras edition.
With the punchline “Stuck with news that puts you to sleep?”, the TVC makes no effort to hide who, it thinks, is turning Madrasans into Kumbhakarans when the City’s landscape is changing, young achievers are setting new benchmarks, politicians are lavishly dispensing patronage, etc.
The idea, clearly, is to drive home the width and depth of ToI‘s local coverage as opposed to The Hindu‘s much-vaunted international outlook. For, in the 54th second, a close-up shot shows a sleeping giant in the arms of a policeman at a drill session holding the op-ed page of the “Mount Road Mahavishnu”.
Will conveying the opposition as sleep-inducing in “conservative” Madras work? And is getting the nerves jangling with “tactile” news the primary function of a newspaper?
Writes the adman Lakshmipathy Bhat:
“The objective is clearly to create dissonance among the readers of The Hindu by portraying their brand choice as boring. I feel it may make for interesting advertising but will fail to deliver the objective of getting the readers of The Hindu to switch.
“The character of Chennai has changed over the years with the growing IT/Services and automobile industry. For ‘new entrants’ to Chennai, ToI was an alternative to The Hindu. But for die-hard Chennai dwellers, ToI is still an outsider. Questioning their intelligence may end up being counter productive.”
For the record, the 2011 second-quarter results of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) in Madras shows The Hindu (average issue readership: 4.98 lakh) has two-and-a-half times the number of readers as ToI (AIR: 2 lakh readers). Deccan Chronicle has 1.38 lakh readers, and the New Indian Express has 21,000 readers.
Also, for the record, The Times of India is 173 years old; The Hindu is 133 years old.
Also read: The great grandmother of newspaper battles
When it launched its Madras edition three years ago, the 173-year-old Times of India did what its chief competitor, the 132-year-old Hindu wouldn’t be caught dead doing.
Which is, associate its masthead with a “mass” gaana song—Naaka mukka—from a Tamil movie.
Now, to launch its Madurai edition, ToI goes one step (and several dappan kootu beats) further, even as its chief competitor hurtles from court to high court to supreme court, seeking answers for such a fundamental question as, who should run the newspaper: owner or outsider?
(For the musically inclined, the singer in the ToI video is Chinna Ponnu, who recently starred with Kailash Kher in the Indian version of Coke Studio)
Link via Shobha Sarada Viswanathan
Also read: Any number will do in game of numbers