The Hindu ditches dialogues for sounds

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 23, 2013
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To announce the arrival of its Tamil daily, The Hindu has released a TVC that attempts to forge an instant bond with its Tamil speaking TG.

September 16 was a big occasion for The Hindu Group, as for the first time in 135 years, the group entered the regional language newspaper market with its Tamil paper. Titled The Hindu, the new offering will compete in the Rs 1,500 crore Tamil newspaper market with four major players. To consolidate its move and to create buzz, The Hindu Group has launched a television campaign around the new offering.

Joono Simon

Suresh Srinivasan

Designed by Ogilvy & Mather Bengaluru, the TVC is a montage where people -- while engaged in different activities such as protests, cricket, army marches -- make noises that are actually the basic letters of the Tamil language. The film ends with a voiceover in Tamil that says, 'The world will come alive in your own language - The Hindu', which is also the tagline for the new paper.

"Establishing a connect with people on grounds of language, culture and values was our task," says Joono Simon, ECD, Ogilvy & Mather. "The TVC had to ensure that it was in sync with the rich heritage and legacy of The Hindu. The intent is to communicate that while a newspaper gives identity, language plays an extremely important role in creating that identity," says Simon.

Speaking on the insight behind the use of Tamil letters, Suresh Srinivasan, VP, The Hindu tells afaqs!, "Our newspaper is just born and when a kid is born, he first learns to speak the alphabet and then goes on to a higher level. We want to communicate the fact that our newspaper is new but has the values of The Hindu Group attached."

The newspaper wanted to communicate its availability to the people of Tamil Nadu in their own language. Simon adds that the montage used in the TVC captures the width and depth of life that the newspaper will cover for its target audience. The ad will be aired across most Tamil channels, barring the Sun Network. Some of the chosen channels include Aditya TV, Zee Tamil, K TV and Thanthi TV. The TG for the campaign includes people from Tamil Nadu, across SECs. Apart from TV, the publication is promoting its new daily on radio, OOH, print and digital platforms.

Earlier, the group had launched a TVC titled 'It's time to behave' through which it took a dig at politicians and addressed the fact that through their objectionable public behaviour, they set a bad example for the youth. Some of its other recent campaigns are 'Stay ahead of The Times' and 'Congratulating the Competition', both part of a long-drawn, entertaining media war between The Hindu and The Times of India.

Sound idea?

Raghu Bhat

Mythilli Chandrasekar

The campaign has garnered mixed reactions from the ad fraternity.

While Raghu Bhat, co-founder, Scarecrow Communications, doesn't sing songs of praise for the creative tack, he admits the ad serves its intended purpose of announcing the launch of the Tamil daily. "Sometimes ads are created to enable persuasion. Sometimes they are created to deliver 'new news'. This ad belongs to the latter category. The new information is enough to generate trials from disaffected consumers of competing brands or a large number of people who might like to sample 'the new'," explains Bhat.

On the other hand, Mythilli Chandrasekar, SVP and executive planning director, JWT, does not find the ad strong enough to do the trick for the group. "The ad does not particularly appeal to the Tamil sensibility, nor does it make a clear statement on why readers of other Tamil papers should switch to this one," says Chandrasekar, going on to point out that the brand has failed to cash in on the strengths of the Hindu as an English paper.

Well, creativity aside, given that this is a launch campaign, as long as people take notice of its arrival in the Tamil daily market, mission accomplished!

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