Posts Tagged ‘Chennai’

Good morning, it’s time to go back to bed?

8 November 2011

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

Any number will do when the game is of numbers

How The Times of India entered Madurai (Market)

How an Oscar winner ushered in a newspaper

23 February 2009

Last year, when The Times of India made its big move to Madras to take on The Hindu, it used music composer A.R. Rahman, who won two Academy Awards today for the best original song and best score for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, as its vehicle of change with this slick television commercial.

Also read: When the Old Lady takes on the Mahavishnu

Any number will do when the game is of numbers

Chari, a Hindu lens legend, passes away. RIP.

4 October 2008

sans serif records the passing away of K. Narayanachari, the dark room assistant who rose to be the chief photographer of The Hindu in Madras. He was 85 years old.

An obituary in the paper notes:

Acknowledged as one of India’s finest and most productive press photographers, Chari believed that imagination, innovation, and total dedication were the essential qualities of a true professional photographer. Energetic and fiercely competitive, he did not hesitate to elbow his way forward in a crowd.

A pioneer in sports photography, Chari covered 106 Test matches and 15 one-day internationals.

The picture above is one of his most-talked-about action frames of the controversial run-out of left-hander Alvin Kallicharan in the second innings of the fourth Test at Madras on January 15, 1975.

“Umpire Satyaji Rao first turned down the appeal and then reversed his decision. India won the Test comfortably. At the time (when there was no question of TV replays), it was held that Chari’s revealing photograph had the effect of moderating the chagrin in the West Indian camp over the run-out. The picture seemed to suggest that Kallicharan may have been out of his crease when the ball uprooted the stump,” notes The Hindu.

Photograph: courtesy The Hindu

Read the full obituary: Chari, veteran photographer, passes away

Any number will do when the game is of numbers

5 September 2008

How does an English newspaper—a new entrant in a colourful, chaotic, “conservative”, cinema-mad, cutout-filled City—connect to the masses?

If you are The Hindu, you establish synergies with the prim and proper Madras Music Academy, and collaborate with some of its classical katcheris to the soft rustle of Kanjeevarams.

If you are The Times of India, you take a peppy ‘gaanasong born in the slums (Naka Mukka) from composer Vijay Anthony, from an upcoming Tamil movie (Kadhalil Vizhunthen, starring Nakul of Boys fame), tie it into your campaign, and even sponsor “The Making of Naka Mukka” on Sun TV on Ganesh Chathurthi.

Also read: When the Old Lady takes on the Mahavishnu

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