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Hindu wants to stay ahead of 'The Times'

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MUMBAI: In a classic media ad war, The Hindu has hit indirectly against The Times of India to protect its turf in Chennai. With its ?Stay Ahead of The Times campaign?, The Hindu has declared that it is a force in print journalism which may not be so easily put down by the popular trend of trivialising news.

The campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy and Mather, broke on the back of the launch of Times of India?s Kerala edition.

The 360 degree campaign aims at raising the issue of commercialisation and ?bollywoodisation? of print journalism today.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, The Hindu Group vice president advertising, Suresh Srinivasan said: ?In a globalising knowledge-driven economy, it is vital that readers are well informed about the world at large. And yet, over the last few years, news from the media industry in India has increasingly focused on serving up a steady diet of trivia and shied away from the national and international issues that matter. It is the kind of news that equates to junk food and results in a steady dumbing down.?

Srinivasan maintains that the aim of the campaign is to set the agenda for raising concern about the type of news disseminated by the media and the need to report news on issues that really matter.

The campaign kicked off with a tongue-in-cheek TVC. It has followed it up with an equally in your face print campaign with copies like ?Also has pages 1,2,4,5,6,7..? and ?Sense. Not Sensational?. The social media has been utilised as well with dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts. Plans are on for an extensive outdoor campaign along with some on ground activations as well.

Srinivasan added, ?The goal here is to start a debate and get the readers involved. Having been in the print media for so long, we decided to put into use the newspaper?s credibility and heritage in the business to voice this concern. Yes, there is a fun side to it, and it may seem we are answering a rival newspaper through this campaign, but there is no such intention to take on any competitor.? He goes on to add that the responses in the commercial are real answers and not rehearsed ones.

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