How Lokmat wooed Thanekars

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 13, 2016
With its recently-launched campaign 'Kahitari kar Thanekar', Lokmat claims to have become the No. 1 Marathi Daily in Thane.

Lokmat Media recently launched a campaign 'Kahitari kar Thanekar' in order to create brand awareness and increase circulation of the Marathi daily Lokmat in Thane. The campaign, which was conceptualised by Ferry Wharf Communications (FWC) was executed in four phases.

The impact of the campaign, claims the brand, was so huge that the publication had to increase the number of pages of 'Hello Thane' -- a four-page local supplement -- from four to eight. Moreover, according to an internal survey, Lokmat has also become the No. 1 Marathi Daily in Thane post the roll out.

Lokmat's No Horn activity for 'Kahitari kar Thanekar' campaign

Speaking about the campaign's concept, Rudolph D'Souza, senior vice-president, FWC, says, "Thane has problems that are typical to any urban centre in India. Like in any part of urban India, there is a certain level of anger against the system, and the easiest solution would have been to tap that anger. But, the team decided to dig deeper and discovered a unique insight into the mindset of the people of Thane."

Lokmat's No Horn activity for 'Kahitari kar Thanekar' campaign

Deven Sansare, partner and creative head, FWC, says, "Thanekars (citizens of Thane), do not consider Thane to be a suburb of Mumbai. They believe they are an independent town with an independent identity, and take great pride in belonging to Thane."

Lokmat's No Horn activity for 'Kahitari kar Thanekar' campaign

Instead of stoking the fire of the citizens' anger, the communication was designed to invoke their pride in the city with a call for involvement and positive action.

Rudolph D'Souza

Deven Sansare

Raghavendra Shet

The first phase of the campaign saw teaser hoardings come up at busy junctions in Thane. The hoardings carried the slogan, 'Kahitari kar Thanekar', (Citizens of Thane, do something). In the next phase, hoardings supported by press ads and a Facebook page, asked Thanekars to do something about five top-of-mind issues, namely, the neglect of Thane's lakes, noise pollution due to honking, chain snatching, refusal of auto drivers to ply to particular destinations, and the spread of a new drug among school children. All ads invited participation through the Facebook page, as well as an SMS number.

Describing the impact, Raghavendra Shet, general manager, Lokmat Thane, states, "A few days into the reveal stage, the phone started ringing. Several individuals such as a motivational speaker who was running a 'No Spitting' campaign, as well as institutions like Jaag, an NGO that promotes the use of solar energy, expressed their wish to associate with our campaign. The campaign had suddenly turned into an initiative and a movement that everyone wanted to be a part of."

The campaign was well-supported with on-ground events as well. To highlight the plight of Thane's neglected lakes, the Lokmat team organised a picnic on the shore of Rayaladevi Lake. School children came out and campaigned at busy traffic junctions requesting motorists not to honk without reason. Thane's Police Commissioner met a women's audience and heard their complaints about chain snatching and the demand for a dedicated helpline for this crime.

Thane Kaal, Aaj aani Udya (Thane -- yesterday, today and tomorrow), an event that saw the participation of celebrities from Thane such as Sudip Nagarkar, Viju Mane, Mukund Natu, Dr Raviraj Ahirrao and Rohit Shah, was also organised to bring alive Thane's history and its dreams and plans for the future. A local rock band, Moksha, wrote and composed the music for the Thane Anthem, which was launched in a public ceremony at one of Thane's biggest malls.

In the third and fourth phase, celebrities further urged Thanekars to participate in this initiative by sharing issues and possible solutions with Lokmat.

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