HT hopes to raise the creativity in print

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 21, 2009
Hindustan Times has launched a contest, Build Your Campaign, for the custodian of brands, which include brand owners and their creative and media agencies, to raise the creative level in print ads

Creativity in print advertising needs to be revitalised - believes Shantanu Bhanja, vice-president, marketing, HT Media. He says that the main focus of the creative professional is now on television ads.

Hindustan Times, the company which Bhanja represents, plans to revive the dying art of print ads. The company has launched a contest, called Build Your Campaign, for brand owners and their creative and media agencies. Each agency will have to create ads only for the brands it has been aligned with. The winning brand will get Rs 2 crore worth of media space in the Mumbai and Delhi editions of Hindustan Times for just 1 per cent of the cost, at Rs 2 lakh.

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The team behind the creative and innovation will get an international trip - the details of which are still being worked out by the publication. The creative talent behind the winning campaign will be featured in the Stratedgy section of the newspaper, along with other laudable entries. Also, a selected few will be published online, apart from the print.

HT has 14 different ad spaces - Half wrap, pointer, island, double U, reverse L, straight L, top T, invert T, pizza slices (33x20cm and 26x33cm), belt, linked, centre spread and gate fold - which were introduced during its revamp. The participants can use these media spaces to create innovative and creative ads.

In the Mumbai edition, the winner will get a centre spread gate fold, while in the Delhi edition, the ad space available will be a centre spread.

The contest will be open till January 30, 2010 and the winners will be announced in mid February.

Bhanja says, "The winning entry will be judged not only on the basis of good creative print work with an interesting copy and a layout, emphasis will also be given on the innovative use of the media and space. To summarise, the entire package will be taken into consideration."

Though ads can also be designed in shapes other than those specified by HT, more weight will be given to those entries that build their campaigns using the pre-defined options.

Our aim is to encourage and bring forth the ads which are award worthy," Bhanja adds. However, the company also hopes to popularise the 14 ad space options available in the newspaper.

The entries will be judged by a team comprising Sam Balsara, chairperson and managing director, Madison World; Vikram Sakhuja, chief executive officer, GroupM South Asia; R Balakrishnan, chairperson and national creative director, Lowe Lintas; Sanjoy Narayan, editor-in-chief, HT; and Benoy Roychowdhury, business head, media marketing, HT.

HT took three months to do the groundwork and complete the legal formalities needed to launch this campaign.

Lowe Lintas is the agency behind the 'Build Your Campaign' contest. HT has developed a microsite at to promote the campaign.

HT has also lined up a series of on-ground activities as a part of the campaign. Beginning next month, a team representing the group will visit planning and creative agencies and indulge in various indoor games to promote the campaign.