Dainik Bhaskar's pre-launch plans in Ranchi go kaput, courtesy Hindustan

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 26, 2010
Hindustan lifts the pre-launch campaign of Dainik Bhaskar in Jharkhand for its advantage

It had happened with DNA Mumbai and recently, with Airtel Digital pre-launch campaigns, when the teaser campaign prior to the big launch plans by a company starts haunting it. The reason: Its competitor played a smart trick and used the teaser campaign to its own advantage.

The latest brand to be haunted by the hijack of its teaser campaign is Dainik Bhaskar, which recently released its prelaunch campaign in Ranchi, the city where it plans to launch its first edition for Jharkhand.

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According to the industry sources, the outdoor teaser campaign of Dainik Bhaskar was up for two days before Hindustan reacted to it. It was done in a manner so that the readers of Jharkhand have the time to soak up the message. Dainik Bhaskar, as of now, has 25 strategically placed hoardings in Ranchi.

"The idea is to shake the city. Hence, we have the most strategic outdoor location painting the town red with our campaign. Bhaskar as a launch process believes in doing field survey wherein we further strengthen our understanding of the readers. We find their liking and dislike, need gap, desire, sentiments and sensitivities. So that Dainik Bhaskar remains true to its 'A newspaper for the people by the people'," says Sanjeev Kotnala, V-P, marketing communication, Dainik Bhaskar Group. The campaign has been developed has been done by Purple Focus.

However, Hindustan reacted to the teaser which read 'Suna tumne, ab Ranchi me chalegi apni marzi' - by running a reader poll in its local edition titled 'Ab chalegi apni marzi', where each day a question that concerns the local population is being posed on the front page of the paper. The reader responses are then published on the front page of Hindustan, prompting concerned authorities to take action.

To this, Kotnala says, "It's not new. Competition has at every place tried this. Even at Mumbai we had The Times of India trying to own the 'Speak Up' campaign, which is clearly associated with DNA in Mumbai. These do not affect us or our processes as the readers finally knows the truth."

Prior to its launch in Mumbai, DNA put up hoardings which said, 'Speak up. It's in your DNA'. Just when the curiosity was reaching its crescendo, a new set of ads featuring DNA strands appeared in The Times of India, Mumbai. The ads had five people looking similar to the DNA newspaper ad but they were seen removing the tapes from their mouths and the copy read: 'Speak up. It's in your DNA - Maharashtra Times'.

Similarly, when Airtel decided to launch Airtel digital TV, it created four teaser TV spots - each teaser started by revealing a different character that uttered, 'See you at home soon'. This was followed by a big red couch flying in and landing with a thud. However, Big TV, which was launched some time before Airtel in order to create a buzz around Big TV's individual features, used Airtel digital TV's teaser campaign and subsequently built on that.

Big created a 'revealer' of sorts, with three ads of ten seconds each that made use of Airtel digital TV's creative signatures, like the red couch, the black background and the line, 'See you at home soon'.

afaqs! tried to contact Hindustan but they were unavailable for comments.

"The campaign by Hindustan got even more credence when the reader response to the first question, 'Should schools in Ranchi be closed because of the heat wave?' resulted in authorities taking the decision to shut down schools. "By doing this, Hindustan has taken the steam completely out of Bhaskar's campaign," says an industry insider.

Hindustan is likely to continue the reader campaign in the days to come.

DB Corp, the publishers of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, recently announced its expansion plans for Jharkhand, along with Jammu and Bihar. The group plans to roll out multiple editions of Dainik Bhaskar from the three states within a period of one and a half years. The group is also expected to have printing facilities in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad for its Jharkhand editions.