Mak­ing Sense not Sen­sa­tions!

Outdoor Asia - - Front Page - Reena Me­hta (With in­puts from Ar­chana Singh)

The Hindu’ be­lieves that to­day more than ever, in a glob­al­iz­ing, knowl­edge-driven econ­omy, it is vi­tal that read­ers are well in­formed about the world at large. And yet, over the last few years, the news and me­dia in­dus­try in In­dia has be­come in­creas­ingly fo­cused on serv­ing up a steady diet of trivia, shy­ing away from the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues that re­ally mat­ter. “This form of en­ter­tain­ing jour­nal­ism may have helped some dailies in the coun­try to sell more news­pa­pers or get more view­er­ship in the short term, but it is the news equiv­a­lent of junk food. And the long-term result is a steady dumb­ing-down of read­ers who end up know­ing more about a celebrity’s baby than the Arab Spring,” ag­grieves Suresh Srini­vasan, Vice Pres­i­dent – Ad­ver­tis­ing, The Hindu Group. To hold up against this slow death of real jour­nal­ism and the dis­turb­ing trend of sen­sa­tion­al­iz­ing news to sell them as entertainment, ‘The Hindu’ planned a pan-In­dia cam­paign across mul­ti­ple me­dia like TV, ra­dio, cin­ema, print, out­door and dig­i­tal. It will be sup­ported by on-ground ac­tiv­i­ties in malls, cafes and other lo­ca­tions. Amidst this me­dia mix, OOH as a medium played a very cru­cial role, “Out­door me­dia was very es­sen­tial for us as that was needed to touch base with con­sumers up and close on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It also took the cam­paign into ev­ery neigh­bor­hood and town square. Since the brand is a pub­li­ca­tion, we couldn’t ad­ver­tise in other print me­dia ( be­ing com­pe­ti­tion). Thereby we had to have an ex­tremely in­ten­sive out­door reach to get the de­sired impact. Cities like Ban­ga­lore and Hy­der­abad were tar­geted heav­ily as we in­tended to max­i­mize eye balls and get greater bang for the buck,” ex­plains Suresh. Ogilvy Ad­ver­tis­ing, the Creative agency, was given a brief to create a cam­paign that gets peo­ple to re- eval­u­ate their me­dia choices and switch to a smarter news­pa­per. Thus the mes­sage was to con­vey that the time had come to hold up a mir­ror to a dis­turb­ing new trend in In­dian jour­nal­ism, which was re­ally dumb­ing down the so­ci­ety at large, and that ‘The Hindu’ was the only me­dia institution that has the lin­eage and cred­i­bil­ity to raise this is­sue. And so came into be­ing a hard hit­ting cam­paign which put up some bold stands out there. The creative had var­ied copies, which in a straight­for­ward tone urged the on-look­ers to en­sure that what they were read­ing was sense and not sen­sa­tion. Some of the copies in­clude:

“For cur­rent af­fairs go be­yond Bol­ly­wood af­fairs”

“Space for busi­ness lead­ers not cheer­lead­ers” “Be­cause gov­ern­ment mal­func­tions mat­ter more than wardrobe mal­func­tions”

“Also has pages 1,2,4,5,6,7…”

“Read about po­lit­i­cal par­ties, not page 3 par­ties”

“Sense not sen­sa­tional”

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