Thursday, April 02, 2009
“I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust.” Said the renowned French poet Charles Baudelaire and let me begin this episode of ad formula here.
News papers have all changed and why not. This are times when people and societies have changed. Markets have changes and marketing has changed. Selling is no longer selling alone and many things added to it. News papers (long lost is there nobility and the reverence with which people saw them, the emotions with which people attached to them and the trustworthiness with which they identified with them) in the changed world have to compete to win and to excel … The Times Of India “lead India” campaign, I would not say is one plain and naked attempt in that direction but it shows that it ,in spite of the noble cause ( vote/ change/ youth and all the bla bla bla) the hidden motive is sales and more sales for TOI. (ot that it is a crime!)
According to TOI, this campaign is about “Awakening the countrymen to vote for right candidates and before that, making political parties to bring right & eligible candidates for representing them” .For that, Times Of India will be reviewing all the candidates from tens of constituencies and publishing details of those political candidates…. OOH….I felt once I thought about how taxing this could be… How hard it would be to TOI to actually analyse and come out with real news and real facts about this guys…? Will it happen considering the fact that a major news paper group like TOI ,has many dealings and many allainces with the same politicians whom they are trying to change?
Every day the TOI devotes a large space ( sacrifice for the nation eh !!! pooh poohs the crtitiques ) , and spends a hell lot on TV, glares us from the outdoors, bill boards and OOH, and wherever and exhorts us to wake up and save this nation. Shouldn’t we be thankful? We are ..I am atleast not that I don’t see the business in it, but I see the cause.. I see the comunication behind it…
The ads are simple, powerful, well written, well reaching and hiting the target- right at the weakpoint. I am sure the TV version which is making me to think, and wriggle in discomfort ,given the fact that I have never voted( for want of a choice) is doing the same with many. It has far reaching effects on many a viewers as I understand from my analysis and election talk with friends.
The campaign began in early 2007 with a single print ad that asked, "Are we going to simply shrug our shoulders, blame our infrastructure, our bureaucracy and our political system?" .The effort grew to include TV, Internet, mobile, street-level activation and reality TV and later went on to win the grand prix lion at the Cannes… TOI and JWT had reasons to laugh!!!!
It is good and even desirable that media gets social and takes social issues head on. Media can do things which others cannot. Only media can do things which many others cannot. For the idea, for the reach out and efforts spend on the campaign, for the consistency and for keeping the idea long enough to tickle the conscience of the lazy arm chair critics of the system (Me included!) it is full marks from me….
Rules of Marketing communication are all simple…. It takes a lot of stupidity to spoil your communication. These guys haven’t done it…
Tail piece:- if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here we go !!!