Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Let there be fight

And finally, HT. The third new paper to be launched has woken up and announced its presence in Mumbai.

Their 'Let there be light' campaign is running on hoardings and TV but I think the FM radio ads are the most impactful. Or at least amusing.

Especially the one where someone is insisting that Miss India be put on the sports page because 'kal maine usko dinner par promise kiya tha'.

Of course that is an exaggeration - even the most strident TOI basher would be unable to produce a real-life example of Miss India on the sports page. But perception is reality and the endless plugging of Miss India in almost every other part of the paper makes the HT dig a good one.

Magar karega kya?
The question however is - what is Hindustan Times promise? No coverage of glamour/ parties/ Miss India/ Bollywood?

Much as many people profess to dislike Bombay Times, its subject matter has become part of what you expect from a paper. In the capital, HT has a supplement - HT City - which competes with Delhi Times on exactly the same lines.

We do want to know what Mallika Sherawat wore at Cannes and perhaps even whose wedding lehenga weighed 10 kilos. And for the few who don't - on every front, whether local or international coverage TOI has pulled up its socks and is now actually quite a readable product.

If the imminent threat of competition can result in such a bonanza, wonder what happens when the competition actually arrives? From Rs 4 a day for our morning paper, we will probably start paying Rs 1.

An extra visit to Barista can probably be had from the money thus saved!

In an irony of fate, the giant 'let there be light' hoarding mounted on Heera Panna building at Haji Ali junction is obstructing light for several floors of residents. Of course, HT must be paying a hefty sum - so no one's complaining!

Incidentally, a tenant in London could not live with a similar situation and cut a 7ft hole in the middle of an advertising billboard put up in front of his window.

The advert he cut through was promoting Microsoft XP. It read "Surprise yourself. Surprise everyone."


  1. well well well, if HT says that they will not cover glamour, then i am afraid of its success, people want a complete package even those who tend to read economic times at back seat of car...also wants glamours odd hours...and HT city is no where near talking of core quality of delhi or bombay times. as far as pricing is concern its very difficult to switch newspaper as it has snob value like people are use to a particular fromat and style of reading - that is i know sports on page 30.....thus pricing is not a large success factor, unless u give it for free....lastly bilboard concept is cool and all major cities have it but its should not affect people, which is the case in bombay

  2. HT Delhi edition is a very good paper, in fact. Its coverage is better, more readable, and generally less downright crass than the Slimes of India, which has basically reduced itself to the status of The Sun, or other such tabloids. If it is indeed making a prescence in Mumbai, I'd switch to it.

  3. Hi Rashmi,

    I replied to the two e-mails you sent me, but did not get a reply in return, so I thought maybe they haven't reached you (I sent them to your Jammag e-mail ID). If they haven't, please mail me or reply to this comment, and I'll call you tomorrow. If they have, just mail me back.

  4. Mumbiakars would be far more interested in content instead of gimmicks. The new players should invest in bring out new & fresh print talent. Currently poaching of TOI staff and hiring the same set of woolly Page 3 writers is being passed off as an alternative.

  5. My struggle to increase eyeballs (
    One month into blogging, my blog statistics read something like this: 28 site visits, 43 page views, average visit length of 53 seconds. Not only are few people reading my articles, the ones who are reading are probably just glancing through them. Or may be they are such frequent readers that they just read the latest post and move on. Some fans (fans ????) have consoled me saying that may be I am part of that "Long tail". But I am concerned whether I am really part of the tail or just the flies moving around it.
    Whatever it is, I am convinced that I need to do something to increase my blogs popularity. I have several really good ideas to do that and I am sure they will succeed. Expect some of these in my next postings:

    * More sex; my blog will from now onwards give you just what you need together with a viagra pill.
    * I shall change my name and write under the pseudonym of a young girl. Then my postings will give you all a peek into the woman in me (as a fan?? suggested)
    * More of the customary intellectual bashing: Yes there will be lots of protest articles against George Bush, Laloo, Saurav Ganguly, Gujarat riots, call center working hours
    * More of the customary intellectual support: And lots more of support postings for orange-red-tulip-rose revolution in the ex-soviet republics, gay rights, IIM fees-hike, genetic feminine superiority etc.
    * Lot more page 3 : Yes, more remix articles. I shall give you the details of what happened beyond those glamorous parties.
    * More remix: I shall remix the more famous blog posts (So you will se post like "Indian IT sector shines- Lost in the bathtub mix" and so on.
    * More scandals: Yes, I shall reveal how Maikalal Jaikisan handled me when I was a kid....Only on this blog

    Suggestions are welcome. Help me reach you better

  6. Wow, Shivaji's comment made my day :-D
    Me heading right over to your blog......I just hope the sarcasm there is as heady as this !! :-)

  7. Would love to see HT, TOI, Hindu and DC on the same turf. Would be fun for readers, if not for them.

  8. Hi Rashmi
    every newspaper is rediscovering the magic of "Punjab Kesri" the Hindi daily which still commands a huge share in the market..what TOI and HT are doing is offering Punjab Kesri in English..It has even been ridiculed in jokes for all the gossip and rumours it circulates..But it sells..this is what most newspapers want "SALE" so copying this idea is a good idea..I think Punjab Kesri model can be a case study for marketing guys..ciao

  9. Rashmi,
    I was looking for HT "Let there be Light" Ads...and the 3rd link on google brought me to your blog!
    Incidentally, ur billboard is one of the very few Adverts I could find out on Google!
    Great Marketing for the Campaign :-)

  10. Anonymous12:04 PM

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