The Economist celebrates the joy of reading

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | March 13, 2013
The idea behind the campaign is to reconnect people with their first memories of reading.

The Economist, a current affairs publication which covers politics, business, science and technology, books and arts, has launched an online campaign that asks people to thank those who introduced the concept of reading in their lives.

The Joy of Reading film

The campaign allows people to thank that someone, who introduced them to the joy of reading. For this, the publication has created a mircosite, which allows users to create their own "thank you" story and share it with their friends and families on social network. To promote the microsite, The Economist has created a short film based on real people professing their thanks those who introduced them to the written world.

The video, which went live on YouTube on March 12, opens with a grandson thanking his grandmother for introducing him to the world of books. The video also shows different different people expressing gratitude. According to the publication, no actors have been used and real, everyday people have shared their first reading experiences in the video. Even the granny and her grandson are from real life.

Suprio Guha Thakurta

Explaining to afaqs! the idea and objective behind the campaign, Suprio Guha Thakurta, managing director, The Economist, India, informs that an internal research in India has shown that subscribers who stay with The Economist for a long time, apart from being extremely curious, are also passionate readers.

"We know that the love of reading is essential for the health of our brand. In today's environment, with the onset of technology, reading is under serious threat. The known effects of the internet, news feeds and SMS are well documented. We see a tension building between the inherent positive disposition towards reading in India and the building wave of disinterest. It is this cultural tension that we must tackle for the long term future of our brand," adds Thakurta.

The campaign targets India and the company has no plans to extend it to other media platforms, right now. It is being promoted through social networks and after testing the momentum, may see minimal advertising on Facebook.

"We are hoping that a sizable (no targets) number of people will be touched by the campaign and it will make them pick up a book to read on the weekend," Thakurta explains.

The Economist, recently, announced that Guha Thakurta will take additional charge as circulation managing director, Asia Pacific. He will take on the new role as the head of the publication's Asia-Pacific circulation business from April 1.

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