Making Sense not Sensations!
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”