Y’day’s Big Story: Print wins with ‘hat ke’ ideas

20 Feb,2012



Bharat Kapadia

By Akash Raha


The readers of The Sunday Times of India of February 19 woke up to a special surprise as they were served coffee with their newspapers. Well, not literally. The Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru editions had a unique dimension – they broke the olfactory barrier. Each copy filled the air with the rich aroma of coffee, spreading the message for Hindustan Unilever’s flagship coffee product, Bru Gold. Veteran mediaperson Bharat Kapadia’s firm, ideas@bharatkapadia.com, unveiled its first big idea for its clients Hindustan Unilever and The Times of India group.


“The objective was to drive home the richness of fine coffee and I knew that we could conquer this final frontier in a newspaper,” Mr Kapadia said. “The aroma of food products can create a sense of craving and can be very effective way to lead the reader to consume it.”


In a world where it’s critical to stand out in a crowd, an idea when executed effectively can be a winner and this can be a unique consumer experience with every new fragrance. Mr Kapadia should know. Having spearheaded several ideas with the publications he has led over the years, ideas@bharatkapadia.com is a specialized ideas consulting firm in media and marketing. The fragrant newspaper concept has been tried out earlier editorially by Dainik Bhaskar and possibly some others too, but it’s the first time by a national advertiser across multiple editions.


What experts feel on innovation

The Times of India has been in the forefront with innovations. It’s been said and discussed in various forums that the only way the print industry can maintain its vitality is by constantly innovating and thereby evolving. That innovation is a driving factor for success is a no-brainer, yet is our print industry doing enough to innovate and create more value for the advertisers? Earlier, MxM India got in touch with leading advertising practitioners to know more about current trends and innovations that are happening in the industry.


Pratap Bose

When asked if the print industry is innovating enough of late, Pratap Bose, COO, Mudra Group said, “When it comes to print, there is very little innovation that you see. Whatever innovation you see, once it is done it is repeated time and time over again. Various forms of jackets – half, straight, up, down … Nothing fresh is coming out in print these days. The one category that continues to be beaten down is print. Barring one or two innovations from The Times of India group, which are of course very good, there is not much in terms of innovations that is happening.”


When asked to compare print with other media, Mr Bose said, “Well, I consider all media as media, whether it is above the line or below the line. But essentially what you are seeing in the innovation space is largely happening in digital, out of home and promotions. To an extent video as well, if you want to include mainline media. Cinema is again, very few… So really, good innovation is not happening on either print or TV.”


An issue of deliberation also is that whatever little innovation that we see in the market, is it happening in all print forms, across all linguistic barriers alike? Are print innovations happening in both English and language publications alike, or is the innovation limited to top English publications… only those who get top-end advertising moolah?


Answering the question, Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar UM said, “Print innovations often needs the publishing house to be able to carry out the difference. The leading publishing houses like the Bennett Coleman or HT Media manage to pull off innovations easily. For example the Cannes Gold that we won for Garnier this year was aided by The Times of India. The Times of India managed to print the day’s issue on recycled paper; for people who understand printing, they will appreciate the sheer thickness of the paper, the kind of paper needed the production team to alter their normal process , experiment and get it right before the 100% recycled paper issue got printed. So innovation happens with publications with a modern sophisticated printing and production unit. It has nothing to do with the language of the publication.”


Divya Radhakrishnan

Divya Radhakrishnan, Manging director – Helios Media Pvt Ltd, said, “There are lots of innovations happening in vernacular press as well. In fact groups like Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar have pioneered many an innovative concepts. The extent of innovation blends into ground activation and other media owned by the same group. A good example of that is Jagran activations.


But while we talk about all the advertising riches innovation can drive, we cannot help but talk about the content aspect too. Often, innovations in print are condoned because they hamper its readability. Some innovations distracts an diverts the attention of a reader, thereby hampering with the content. However, Ms Dias said that it is not always so. Such a case only happens when an innovation makes reading content difficult. “For example the half gate fold is often disliked by a lot of readers as it makes holding the paper difficult or sometimes fonts in a colour, which make reading tough. Other than that innovations are done to enhance the product values and to bring it alive to the readers.”


Yet, innovation remains a key factor for the print players for sustenance in the long run. Moreover, the ability to carry off good and meaningful innovation certainly brings more to the table and helps grab the advertisers’ attention.”


Ms Radhakrishnan said, “Innovations for the sake of innovation is a no-go. The key objective for the innovation is to stand out of clutter and deliver the message appropriately. Given the time-spent on print media being on the decline, it’s very important that the message is delivered in a single-shot and therefore needs to be placed innovatively to grab reader attention. Another often repeated mistake is repeating the same idea often which by definition kills the concept of innovation. For example, jackets.”


Nandini Dias

Speaking on how important it is for print publications to innovate to be successful, Ms Dias said “It’s important to be able to carry out innovative options. As advertisers often come up with solutions which do not conform, publications which can help communicate their ‘hat ke’ thoughts will benefit.”


As Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” For print players, it is imperative to constantly dream up winning ideas. So, we are likely to see more ‘hat ke’ and out-of-the-box innovations like the one created for Hindustan Unilever.


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One response to “Y’day’s Big Story: Print wins with ‘hat ke’ ideas”

  1. Vineeth2309 says:

    This is news – never knew it smelt of coffee !

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