afaqs!

TOI-Hindu scuffle continues

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | February 06, 2012
The TOI takes a jibe at The Hindu's recent campaign via a print campaign.

The Times of India (TOI) and The Hindu campaigns seem to be following Newton's Law of Motion of 'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction' - quite seriously. The latest campaign by The Hindu, in response to The Times of India's campaign launched four months back, has received a quick counter response from the latter.

Rahul Kansal

Shiveshwar Raj Singh

Rohit Malkani

The February 03 edition of the TOI Chennai edition, which carried an ad on its front page congratulating the competition, was clearly targeted at The Hindu. The ad reads, 'We congratulate the competition for finally waking up to The Times of India'. The print ad has been conceptualised by Taproot India.

The TOI's print advert, which is on the lines of its previous campaign "Wake up Chennai", doesn't end here, and it goes on to sting The Hindu sweetly by appreciating the latter's campaign. The body copy reads 'We enjoyed their new campaign reacting to our success in Chennai.' The copy also took a jibe at The Hindu's new editor Siddharth Varadarajan, and CEO Arun Anant, who have both worked with the TOI in the past. 'We now look forward to them emulating our approach to connecting with readers, led by a new editor and CEO who's cut their teeth at The Times of India', it further read.

Rahul Kansal, CMO, BCCL, says, "It is a fun take and a quick rebuttal to The Hindu's campaign. We don't intend to do more of it, unless of course, The Hindu gives us a reason to."

The ad industry compares the newspaper war with the cola wars that took place in the past. Shiveshwar Raj Singh, group creative director, Draftfcb Ulka, says that this action and reaction advertising is just like one of those cola wars. "It's a witty thing they both are doing, but I don't think it'll lead to reader switch. It's basically a great idea to be in the news. However, The Hindu, which is considered an intelligent paper, should not have stooped to this level. I think it was upset with The TOI's campaign." Singh is of the view that the TOI's strategy to shake up the market to get attention was justified as it was new.

Rohit Malkani, executive creative director, Mumbai Head, Grey Worldwide, says, "It's fun, and in jest. It reminds me of the Pepsi and Coca Cola war. Likewise, these ads by The Hindu and the TOI are not in bad taste."

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