The interjections, the Apsara pencil in your face, the six windows on the screen… they are all there on online store Flipkart’s new TV campaign, based on Times Now‘s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Two south Indian newspapers, the Malayala Manorama (in picture, above) and the New Indian Express, have reported the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) in Kannur district in Kerala.
According to Manorama, the picture was taken by Major Sebastian Zachariah, an Indian army officer serving on the UN mission in Congo, when he was testing his new mobile telephone.
The Express (above) followed suit, and quoted the major’s wife:
“My husband had a new mobile (HTC-1) and he was checking the features by clicking photos randomly. It was around 4.30-5 pm and suddenly he screamed saying that he got a UFO image. We couldn’t believe it first and thought he was playing a prank,” Divya who hails from Kannur said over phone.
“He did not see the UFO with his naked eye. We checked every frame carefully and only one had a flying saucer on it. We looked in the sky to spot something unusual. We came back home and did a thorough search on the internet and even scanned the NASA website.”
Thankfully, Express also quoted Professor Jayant Murthy of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore, who rejected the claims.
“Due to reflections of some optics there could have been illusions. People sometimes experience camera illusions and they are not UFOs. These are nothing real.”
“UFO attacks can be “recorded” with new HTC-1 mobile phone App. UFO-logists have enough stuff for some time.”
Edamaruku also suggested a You Tube link to show how it is done:
However, one blogger put the whole thing in perspective:
“HTC–1 is a powerful phone with a very powerful camera. HTC -1 produces perfect images with one-press continuous shooting, VideoPic, and a camera that captures 300% more light. It has a very powerful Ultra Pixel camera supporting continuous shooting. It looks like the picture got captured only because of this powerful camera. Hence we cannot rule out the possibility that this a genuine UFO phenomenon caught on film due to a very powerful, advanced camera phone.”
Also read: How a giant pig fooled the American media
The capital ‘I’ doesn’t appear on the pages of The Times of India, not on the edit page, not on the commentary page. That’s one way of keeping commentators from preening in the first-person.
And that’s by order from the very top.
But as the paper turns 175 and launches the ‘I Lead India‘ campaign in association with Maruti Suzuki, the dreaded ‘I’ returns, in ads, in hoardings, and in BCCL chief marketing officer Rahul Kansal‘s opening essay.
The ‘I’ here, of course, is You.
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
Mumbai Mirror was launched seven years ago to protect The Times of India from the new kids on the block, DNA and Hindustan Times, on its hometurf.
TOI says the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) puts Mirror‘s average issue readership (AIR) at 7.54 lakh copies, ahead of both DNA and HT.
In Mumbai, TOI remained the dominant No. 1 with 15.35 lakh readers, while Mumbai Mirror maintained its No. 2 position with 7.54 lakh readers. The top two newspapers in Mumbai thus continue to be from the Times Group stable.
A front-page announcement in Mirror says:
“According to the latest figures released by IRS, Mumbai Mirror retains its position as the No. 2 English language newspaper in the city, still ahead of the competition and behind only the ever-large presence of The Times of India.”
On the other hand, DNA claims TOI has lost nearly two lakh readers since its 2007 launch.
Not to be left behind, Hindustan Times‘s front-page story too harps on ToI‘s decline.
“HT‘s daily readership grew by 35,000 in Mumbai over the previous round while the main rival, The Times of India, lost 53,000 readers, according to the IRS (Q3, 2011) results…. DNA is the third among the three English broadsheet dailies in the city with an AIR of 6.8 lakh.
“Hindustan Times is the only newspaper in Mumbai to have increased readership in 12 of the last 13 IRS rounds. In fact, since becoming Mumbai’s No2 English broadsheet in December 2010, HT has added 1.59 lakh readers over the last 4 rounds.”
“Coming from an FMCG background, fundamentally the first thing that I look at is, is it good for our consumers? Is it good for our advertisers and customers? The traditional publishing world was very different, it first thought of itself rather than the reader or the advertiser. That mindshift is extremely important.
“We exist because we have a reader; we exist because the guy who pays our bills is our advertiser. Therefore we need to be constantly attuned to them rather than just sitting in our ivory tower and saying, this is what we believe is important and this is what I am going to give to you.
“We [in ToI] are extremely fortunate to have editors who understand this and we have been able to make them understand this. They constantly talk to consumers and they are constantly in the market just to figure out what is really important, what is bubbling, what is good for our readers to know.
“To us the reader is the CEO, I am not the CEO.”
External reading: ‘Our paper isn’t for editors; it’s for readers’
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
In 2006, Time magazine declared that the person of the year was you, yes, you—a smart way of acknowledging the rise of Wikipedia, YouTube, MySpace and other crowd-sourced media avenues in the internet era.
In 2011, Web18, the internet arm of Raghav Bahl‘s Network18, which has launched a heavily promoted website called First Post—an assemblage of quirky blogs, edited by R. Jagannathan, the former executive editor of DNA—does ditto.
The Supreme Court has lifted a five-year ban on the airing of the infamous Amar Singh CD which, along with the Niira Radia tapes, must be made required listening in journalism schools for the unvarnished view it offers of how politicians, industrialists, bureaucrats, film stars, celebrities, middlemen and journalists operate.
Among the two-dozen conversations on the Amar Singh CD—fondly referred to in media circles as “Amar Singh ki amar kahaniyan“—is one involving Prabhu Chawla, the former editor of India Today and currently the editorial director of The New Indian Express.
The conversation is centred on a press conference Amar Singh is threatening to call to tell the world about how an Aaj Tak reporter (Prachi Jawadekar Wagh, now with NDTV) sneaked into a hospital ward in Bombay, where the film star Amitabh Bachchan was recuperating and allegedly invaded his privacy. Chawla’s call to the then Samajawadi Party leader is aimed at stalling the press meet.
For the record, Chawla also figures in the Niira Radia tapes, and Chawla himself has put up the transcript of his conversation with the lobbyist on his website to set the record straight.
Also read: ‘TV is dishing out cheap opinion’