Tamil mag Ananda Vikatan sports a young look

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 27, 2008
The weekly magazine has also increased its price from Rs 10 to Rs 15


magazine Ananda Vikatan, which is being published since 1926, has embraced a brighter and younger look. Most important, from being a digest (half of an A4 sheet), it has now become an A4 size magazine.

B Srinivasan, managing director, Vikatan Group, tells afaqs!, "Being a smaller size magazine, we realised that we were lacking in visual impact and losing out on advertisers, who craved for more space and prominence. The revamped magazine is aimed at the youth and also aims to retain our traditional readers, who, irrespective of age, feel young in heart and mind."

Srinivasan says, "We continue to be a family magazine, offering quality content to every member of the family. Earlier, we used to give equal weightage to fiction and current news. Now, there will be more emphasis on features, current news and happenings, rather than fiction.

B Srinivasan

P Siva Prasad"In terms of layout, we realise the importance and impact of the judicious use of pictures and visuals. Our bigger size now allows us to give more prominence to visuals along with the text. The presentation and look of the magazine is now more appealing and eye catching."

The Vikatan Group has also increased the price of the magazine from Rs 10 to Rs 15. Tamil publications Kumudam and Kalki are the other two titles fighting for space in the same genre as Ananda Vikatan.

The core readership of Ananda Vikatan comes from the age group of 20-35 years. However, points out Srinivasan, the magazine is positioned to be the first choice of a mature reader, a young college graduate who has a job in hand and wishes to settle down with a family. The idea is to catch this section of readers at a young age and then provide them with content that will make them stick to the publication all their life. The readers of the magazine are SEC A and B, 25+.

To inform the readers and advertisers about its revamped look, the organization undertook a six week campaign, using print, TV and radio.

P Siva Prasad, vice-president, Vikatan Group, says, "The communication message used in the campaign suggested, 'Read Less, Impress More'. The idea was to tell readers that the magazine has been repackaged and now offers quick takes on important things in less time. So, an intelligent reader will be one who will read intelligent, useful content without investing too much time in grasping irrelevant or time consuming matter."

The print adThe print ads appeared in papers such as The Hindu. Jokes of 20 seconds each, interspersed with the message of 'Thoda Reading, Zyaada Impression', were on air on radio stations such as Sun FM, Radio One, Big FM, Radio Mirchi and Hello FM.

A TV commercial was created too, showing two young men seeking the attention of the same girl. Eventually, the girl is seen walking away with the man who was reading a copy of Ananda Vikatan. The 60 second TVC was aired on channels such as Sun TV, Vijay TV, Kalangar TV and the music channel, SS Music.

The Vikatan Group is estimated to have spent close to Rs 3-4 crore on the campaign. The campaign has been created by a local advertising agency, Green Slate, in Tamil Nadu. The media agency responsible for the implementation of the campaign was Mindshare.

Major advertisers in the magazine include players in retail, FMCG, diamonds, branded jewellery and garments. Srinivasan, however, emphasises that unlike newspapers, advertising does not form the bread and butter for his publication. Instead, they depend more on newsstand sales and subscriptions.

He believes that the fact that readers are ready to pay more for the magazine proves that his product is premium, providing quality content. There is a need for advertisers and planners to realise that the regional market is capable of delivering better results, in terms of reaching out to a larger demographic profile.

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