Ananya Pathak
Media

“We're there for you”: TOI to Deccan Chronicle readers in Bengaluru

With a print ad in its Bengaluru edition, The Times of India aims to woo readers of Deccan Chronicle after the latter shut down its Bengaluru operations on December 27, 2019.

English language daily newspaper Deccan Chronicle closed down its Bengaluru and Kerala editions on December 27, 2019. Reportedly, the national daily, founded in 1930, took the step amid bank fraud charges. The very next morning – December 28, a print ad by The Times of India (TOI) aimed to woo Deccan Chronicle readers in the Bengaluru region.

“We're there for you”: TOI to Deccan Chronicle readers in Bengaluru

Deccan Chronicle now runs 11 editions across Andhra Pradesh (five), Telangana (two) and Tamil Nadu (four). In February 2019, Deccan Chronicle Holdings decided to down shutters on its financial newspaper, Financial Chronicle, across all five editions — New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.

This phenomenon of two print publications taking potshots at each other is however not new. Remember the 2014 spat between TOI and Hindustan Times? That one started after the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2013 was released in January 2014. TOI released a damaging animated video - The TOI Challenge - trashing rival Hindustan Times' (HT) reach in Delhi.

“We're there for you”: TOI to Deccan Chronicle readers in Bengaluru

A week later, HT retaliated by releasing an amusing video which described TOI as the eternal crybaby. Playing on its rival's morning challenge, HT sneered that 'The Moaning Challenge' would have been more appropriate.

In 2012, online news portal Firstpost.com took a potshot at regular print newspapers to make readers rethink their view of 'news-as-it-happens'. The TVC released by Firstpost attempted to position it as an alternative to regular print newspapers, which were depicted as bearers of day-old, stale news as opposed to real-time digital news, underscoring Firstpost.com's commitment to digital journalism.

To reinforce its presence in Chennai, TOI launched a television commercial in 2011 that urged people to keep away from newspapers that put them to sleep with boring news coverage, and suggested they should instead 'wake up to the TOI, the new-age daily' - a commercial clearly targeted at the market leader, The Hindu.

A couple of months later, The Hindu responded with its - ‘Stay ahead of the times' campaign, portraying TOI as a Page 3 newspaper.

Continuing the battle, the February 3, 2012 edition of the TOI Chennai edition carried an ad on its front page that was clearly targeted at The Hindu. The ad read, 'We congratulate the competition for finally waking up to The Times of India'. The body copy read - 'We enjoyed their new campaign reacting to our success in Chennai.' The copy also took a jibe at The Hindu's then new editor Siddharth Varadarajan and CEO Arun Anant, who had 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've cut their teeth at The Times of India', it further read.

“We're there for you”: TOI to Deccan Chronicle readers in Bengaluru