Lokmat Media thanks record-breakers with innovation

10 Feb,2012

By A Correspondent


In what is possibly the first instance of a broadsheet newspaper innovation, Lokmat Media Limited used the full 16 columns across the front and back pages for a lead picture to physically communicate the size and scale of a world-record-setting event. It also spread its ‘front’ page coverage seamlessly across the back page over a span of 16 columns, perhaps creating another world record for its latest media innovation.


Rishi Darda, Editorial Director & Joint MD, Lokmat Media Ltd, said: “Lokmat Connect had just assembled over a lakh of people in the stadium, and another 40 to 50 thousand outside, on a mid-week working morning, to set a world record for singing the National Anthem. It seemed as if all of Aurangabadresponded to our call to set the world record. So when we had our post-event editorial meeting to plan the next day’s issue, one of our main priorities, apart from excellent editorial content, was: How do we give the readers a sense of the scale of the mammoth turnout? While a picture normally speaks a thousand words, our lead picture bespoke a lakh”


“To the best of my knowledge and belief, it was a world-first: a 16-column colour picture with the lead story of the day, with both, the front and back pages working seamlessly together as a unified ‘front’ page, ” he added.


Getting a lakh-and-half people, which is around 8 per cent of Aurangabad’s population to congregate on a working day morning, is no mean feat. “Lokmat’s media innovation is not just a celebration of that success, but, more importantly, our way of thanking everyone who turned up, putting their lives on hold for the hours they spent with us,” said Mr Darda.


Lokmat’s innovation not just communicated the scale, but also had a clever element of surprise for the reader. When one picked up the newspaper and saw the front page, it had a beautifully aligned 8-column banner picture. The layout of the other elements on the front page looked like a normal, well designed front page. “Only when the reader opened the paper and glanced at the back page did the picture reveal itself to be a full panoramic 16-column spread, and the editorial content on the back page too merged, seamlessly, with the front page layout,” explained Darda.


Explaining the world record attempt, Mr Darda said: “Media brands do several things to connect with their readers. Ours was an activation exercise driven by patriotism, and a solemn sense of our duty to the nation. We wanted to help people gift to the nation, a World Record around our National Anthem, on the eve of Republic Day. We were not only commemorating 100 years of Jana Gana Mana, but also celebrating 30 years of our solid presence in, and bond with, Aurangabad.”


Fittingly, even the massive backdrop had only Jana Gana Mana on it, with a tiny ‘Lokmat’ below – like its salute to the National Anthem.


The media innovation was made possible by the depth of Lokmat’s emotional and enduring connect with the people it has been partnering and serving in their day to day lives for the past 30 years. “It was a never-before connect managed brilliantly by Lokmat Connect, our Events specialist team, which has organized many mega events. This connect with the people of the city, across barriers of caste, community, gender and age groups is what empowers us to contribute to and make an impact on the life of every Maharashtrian in general and Aurangabadkars in particular,” said Mr Darda.


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