Lost with­out Print

‘Hindi print reigns over TV in Bi­har’ is the mes­sage di­rected at ad­ver­tis­ers in a joint ad ini­tia­tive by Hindi dailies Hin­dus­tan and Dainik Bhaskar.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL - By Abid Hus­sain Bar­laskar abid.bar­[email protected]

Hindi print reigns over TV in Bi­har.

This is prob­a­bly the first time a cou­ple of com­pet­ing news­pa­pers have come to­gether to put out joint ad­ver­tise­ments against an­other main­stream medium, al­beit a com­peti­tor to both, the tele­vi­sion. The ads in con­text have been jointly rolled out by Hindi news dailies, Hin­dus­tan and Dainik Bhaskar. The com­mu­ni­ca­tion boasts of the Hindi print me­dia’s over­all reach in the state of Bi­har, which, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures, is 50.7 per cent higher than that of cable and satel­lite TV.

At first, it was un­clear why Bi­har, a state with the low­est lit­er­acy (61.8 per cent as per 2011 cen­sus) fared bet­ter in the print medium over tele­vi­sion, which over­comes the lit­er­acy bar­rier when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

This came clear post ‘Print is Grow­ing’, a myth-bust­ing PPT about print’s growth across In­dia - jointly made by Kan­nada daily Vi­jaya­vani and DB Corp, backed by fig­ures pro­vided by the Me­dia Re­search Users Coun­cil (MRUC) and the Au­dit Bureau of Cir­cu­la­tions (ABC). The myth be­ing busted was that print was a dy­ing medium and is be­ing taken over by other new age medi­ums. The pre­sen­ta­tion re­vealed that TV in Bi­har has the low­est pen­e­tra­tion and fares con­sid­er­ably lower than other north In­dian states.

The ads are di­rected at ad­ver­tis­ers look­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with the state’s pop­u­la­tion and does not mince words in say­ing that, in Bi­har, with­out Hindi print me­dia, the ad­ver­tiser’s mes­sage is ‘lost’.

We have seen such com­pet­i­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion within medi­ums in the past with Malay­alam Print Me­dia boast­ing of its higher reach against English dailies. But print tak­ing on TV is un­usual.

afaqs!Re­porter got in touch with Kaacon Sethi, CMO, DB Corp to find more about the cam­paign.

Sethi says, “Ac­cord­ing to the IRS’ (In­dian Read­er­ship Sur­vey) 2017 anal­y­sis of Hindi print (in­cludes all news­pa­pers) vs cable and satel­lite TV reach, Hindi print has 50.7 per cent more reach than cable and satel­lite TV in Bi­har. The sit­u­a­tion is more pro­nounced among men with Hindi print me­dia hav­ing close to 120 per cent more reach than cable and satel­lite TV.”

How do you gain from the com­mu­ni­ca­tion?

“It is im­per­a­tive for me­dia plan­ners and buy­ers, and ad­ver­tis­ers to take cog­nizance of the fact that a TV plan can­not be the base or main me­dia ve­hi­cle for the state of Bi­har. Hindi news­pa­pers will have to be the main me­dia ve­hi­cle. It will have to be the main­stay of the ad­ver­tiser’s me­dia plan with­out which the mes­sag­ing will be lost. More­over, as a mar­ket, Bi­har is big­ger than Ra­jasthan, Gu­jarat and Mad­hya Pradesh - that have a pop­u­la­tion of ap­prox­i­mately 6-8 crore. The pop­u­la­tion of Bi­har is 11 crore. From a reach and con­sump­tion per­spec­tive, Bi­har is a huge mar­ket. Pur­chas­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing is bound to grow, it will at­tract more ad ex­pen­di­ture and in the fu­ture grow to be a `1,000 crore mar­ket. It’s a real pos­si­bil­ity as pur­chas­ing power and ed­u­ca­tion grow and fil­ter down the pop strata in the state.”

Which other states share or are closer to the Bi­har sce­nario?

In the HSM (Hindi Speak­ing Medium) states, Bi­har is unique. In Ut­tar Pradesh, there is a dif­fer­ence be­tween Hindi print reach and cable and satel­lite TV reach, al­beit small.

But how did the joint com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween two com­peti­tors come about?

“It is a re­sult of dis­cus­sion and de­lib­er­a­tion to rep­re­sent the true reach pic­ture in the state. While we are com­peti­tors on the ground, as the lead­ing dailies in the state, it is also our re­spon­si­bil­ity to help grow con­sump­tion in the state by help­ing and guid­ing the plan­ning, buy­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing com­mu­nity to make the right choice of medium for brand mes­sag­ing in the state. Hence the joint de­ci­sion was taken be­tween Hin­dus­tan and Dainik Bhaskar Group to present the com­pelling data facts about the sub­stan­tially higher reach of Hindi print medium ver­sus TV. We are also invit­ing other news­pa­pers in the mar­ket to join the ef­fort and pro­mote the com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

What other cam­paigns can we ex­pect from the brand in the com­ing days?

“We are in the midst of the Bi­har cam­paign where we have be­come the sec­ond largest news­pa­per, as per the Hansa Re­search Group Study (2018), of over one-lakh towns in Bi­har. We are also break­ing the Ra­jasthan cam­paign, where we have, as per the ABC Jan­uary - June 2018 re­port, be­come the largest cir­cu­lated news­pa­per in Ra­jasthan.”

Sethi as­sures that there will be more such com­mu­ni­ca­tions as the sit­u­a­tion de­mands.

We asked Rad­hesh Uchil, CEO, MRUC, why it was im­por­tant to com­mu­ni­cate that the print medium is do­ing well?

“There is a gen­eral myth in the mar­ket that print as an in­dus­try is dy­ing. There is data avail­able now to sup­port that it’s not the truth. Peo­ple need to be told about that,” Uchil says.

He fur­ther stresses that print as an in­dus­try has to come to­gether and com­mu­ni­cate this to its users, the ad­ver­tis­ers. “This is the first step and it has been hap­pen­ing in the last few months. The in­dus­try needs to work to­gether to pro­mote them­selves in­stead of com­pet­ing in­ter­nally to gain a share of the ad pie,” Uchil con­cludes. ■

“From a reach and con­sump­tion per­spec­tive, Bi­har is a huge mar­ket. Pur­chas­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing is bound to grow, it will at­tract more ad ex­pen­di­ture.” KAACON SETHI

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