HT: Speaking the dialect of the young

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | September 11, 2009
Hindustan Times' new campaign tries to entice young readers

In July this year, Hindustan Times (HT) unveiled its new look, which was aimed at attracting younger audiences. The move to re-launch the paper was driven by research and the need for distinct positioning. HT's research suggested that today's youth are looking for a newspaper that delivers content that would help them move forward, and presents it in a way that they find easy to read and assimilate.

As Neelanjan Shome, chief marketing officer, HT Media, says, "The decision to revamp HT's content, supported by layout and design, was taken so that there would be a newfound appeal to its young readers, while simultaneously retaining the editorial integrity."

Post the re-launch of the fresh HT, there was a need to communicate the changed offering to the young readers. Hindustan Times roped in ad agency, Lowe Lintas, to design a contemporary communication. The aim was to make the new generation connect with the newspaper, by portraying real-time situations which make people pause, sit up and think afresh.

& #BANNER1 & #The first phase of the campaign utilised print and outdoor, establishing the new brand message, 'It is time for change'. The second phase saw the launch of four TVCs, with more to come in the next few weeks.

R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, says, "Hindustan Times was conceptualised as an instrument of change. The realisation that it was imperative to change now was the underlying thought behind the relaunched campaign."

Driving home the message without sermonizing and avoiding any condescending overtones was very crucial. The TVCs talk about real-life issues, such as the swine flu, attitude towards gay relations and insensitive journalism.

In all the TVCs, a rolled up newspaper is used to whack the insensitive person, signifying the thought of 'change'. For instance, in one of the TVCs, a man is whacked with the newspaper for making fun of a gay couple in a restaurant.

This is HT's second campaign since the time of its launch in Mumbai in 2005. At that time, the brand message was, 'Let there be light'.