Karan Ghosh
Marketing Initiative

Sunday mid-day's new recipe: 70% Features, 30% News, 100% Mumbai

Tinaz Nooshian, Editor-In-Chief of Mid-day discusses why the all-new Sunday mid-day deserves to be the Mumbaikar's favourite weekend read.

Mid-day has had a finger on the pulse of Mumbai for 40 years. What does it hope to achieve with the revamped version of its Sunday edition?

We hope to show a face of Mumbai that everyone's too busy to see except on a Sunday. And offer a solid weekend read that goes beyond lip-service lifestyle coverage that's now synonymous with Sunday papers.

Sunday mid-day is the newspaper for someone who likes to read, will pay for it, and isn't apologetic about giving our narrative storytelling the time it deserves.

I'm not sure we want to be the biggest Sunday paper, but most favourite, yes.

Sunday mid-day's new recipe: 70% Features, 30% News, 100% Mumbai

The newspaper's revamp is backed by an interesting campaign — We Have a Sunday For You!. How did the team arrive at this idea?

It's the result of brainstorming between teams Sunday mid-day, mid-day and Scarecrow M&C Saatchi. We went back to the origin of the idea of a Sunday — the day that lets you do what you wish.

It's the only day, for instance, when a guy from Chembur can pack his Brompton into a Churchgate AC local to cycle through Ballard Pier. It's the day when the racing enthusiast hopes to make it to Mahalaxmi; when the music geek can travel suburbs for an intimate Hindustani baithak in someone's drawing room. I mean, it's really the only day in the week that you truly own.

And Sunday mid-day addresses all these people, and their interests, through the stories it carries. Hence, the newspaper's promise to the foodie — We have a treat for you; to the music lover — We have a gig for you; to the city — We have a Sunday for you.

Everyone's loving the We have a Sunday For You! brand video and country-feel jingle, by the way.

Tinaz Nooshian
Tinaz Nooshian

70% features, 30% news and 100% Mumbai is the newspaper's tagline. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a Sunday. What motivated this?

Sunday mid-day is traditionally known for its curated ideas and quality of writing. Long-form features are its forte. Manic Mumbai spares no one, and it's possibly only on weekends that you can afford to put up your feet and find the time to read. The thrust is therefore, on leisure reading and hand-picked feature articles spanning everything from pop- and sub-culture, to food and drink, health, heritage revival, fashion and technology, sport, the arts and entertainment.

News is of course, our mainstay, and we don't compromise there. So, if this was the only paper you read on Sundays, you still wouldn't miss a thing.

A hundred per cent Mumbai is a promise that comes from the fact that mid-day has always put Mumbai and the Mumbaikar squarely at the centre of focus. We speak up for the city, reflect on its flaws and celebrate it. The Mumbai editions of several newspapers shift to pan-India content on Sundays. We don't. Local reportage is our strength, and we are proudly 100 per cent local Monday through Sunday.

The new Sunday mid-day features a weekly technology page and a section on the weirdest news curated from across the world. And there's also a new fortnightly fashion column. What made you focus on these verticals specifically?

Men and women read us in equal numbers, and look to us for news, information and opinion that cuts through the hype. Technophile does exactly that with no-nonsense gadget reviews. If you don't know whether to buy an LED, OLED or QLED television, this is the page to read.

The fortnightly Tailor-made looks at fashion trends, collaborations, sustainable fashion practices, and everyone making headlines in the industry. And it goes beyond just Bollywood.

Mad World is perfect tabloid reading. It's a round-up of amusingly eccentric news, including the horse from Korea who is an Internet star for playing dead when he is tired and the woman from Berlin who is a "physical relationship" with a Boeing 737-800.

Any other regular series or features Sunday mid-day has introduced?

We've got a thumbs up from readers for two new monthly series, The Other Life and Relationships.

The first looks at the alter ego of an interesting personality from the city, someone who made a half-life out of a passion. My favourite story is about the doctor who heads the emergency department of a top hospital and is also the man behind Mumbai's first indoor-parkour gym.

We thought too much is made of lovers, spouses and siblings who work together, stay together. Relationships looks at soul mates; a pair that's not related by birth, romance or marriage, but has been together for years. They are unlikely friends, in a sense.

Mid-day is considered the last word in local news. What do you hope to do with the revamped Sunday mid-day?

Tell stories that haven't been told before. That is Sunday mid-day's long suit and charm. It's why someone who doesn't read us, should. Because you won't find in another Sunday paper, the unusual Mumbai we cover.

And through these stories, we bring readers face to face with facets of the city they call home, and interesting people who make it what it is. When we ran a feature on a textile entrepreneur who uses discarded flowers from Siddhivinayak temple to make natural, blossoms-dyed fabrics that travel all the way to Europe, we had people write in to say they had no idea how much organic waste Mumbai's most famous temple produces (500 kilos a day, by the way) and what becomes of it.

Tell us about the promotion plan for the campaign.

The 360 degree campaign entailing both ATL and BTL mediums was divided into two phases over two months. The first or pre-launch phase — #IwillwaitforSunday — focused on the anticipation of the reader, someone who waits eagerly for his or Sunday. We ran promotions across print, radio and digital for two weeks. The second phase was marked by the communication — Hey Mumbai, We Have a Sunday For You! — and spoke of the newspaper's strengths. The promotions ran for a month across outdoor and cinema.

Hey, Mumbai, We Have a Sunday For You! brand video created by Scarecrow M&C Saatchi and the Sunday mid-day anthem composed by Rupert Fernandes is our showstopper. The video has managed over 3 lakh views in just 4 days.