January 29, 2012

Have you started reading The Hindu yet?

I was pleasantly surprised to come across the commercials that were asking common people GK questions at the airports, railway station, parking lots and malls. What does ATM stand for? Who is the Vice President of India? Who is the successor of Rantan Tata? That evoked a very matter-of-fact response- Actually, his son, Mukesh Ambani! LOL! What is Tahrir Square? A shape, like circle :P! And they followed it up with questions like What is Hrithik's pet name? Who is the actress known for being Size zero? And well, everybody knew the answers to those questions! And they all got the same question after that- Which newspaper do you read? Then come the stock replies- beep-beep-beep- all the dumb looking people mouthing, you guessed it-  Times Of India. There are multiple minute long ads, with a good background score, crisply edited,  that make a fun watch.  And to add salt to the injury, they tell you to read The Hindu in order to "stay ahead of the Times"! Ouch!
I personally don't think that people who read ToI are essentially dumb. The paper just has been packaged well to make it appealing to a casual reader. That does not mean that ToI would not talk about Cyrus Mistry or the Egyptian crisis. Just that, people probably reach for the supplement for the gossip more than looking at the headlines. On the other hand, The Hindu has more "stuff". And that makes you read the headlines and all that goes along with it.  I am a recent "The Hindu" convert and can vouch that the paper does wonders to  your vocab and general knowledge- only, only if you read it line by line. A cursory glance at The Hindu would not do you much good. You might as well read any other paper and get the same information.
But out of all this, what gladdened me was to see The Hindu taking pot shots at ToI. The newspaper has recently had a management change and looks like they are set to change their image from being the laid back "no fluff-only stuff" paper to an aggressive paper that wants to assert that it is the best. May even prompt a lot of people to take to reading The Hindu. It now remains to see how ToI responds to this. This is Fun! 

6 comments:

  1. TOI.. Trust me it is not at all a Newspaper or whatever,, can call them as ADS of INDIA or ADS OF THE WORLD !
    Just try their site once,, OMG i dono for what they run ?
    Hindu is pretty descent , it helped me to learn :)
    good and humorous post :)
    Dee..

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  2. I would honestly prefer (and trust) a "laid back no fluff-only stuff" paper. In this case, however, it was ToI who took the first shot with an ad for its Chennai edition ending with something to the effect of 'why read papers that put you to sleep?' The Hindu's response; simply phenomenal. The ads just went viral.

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  3. The Hindu ads are very innovative and they have followed a unique strategy of creating a buzz on the social media. Anyways as always a good article from you

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  4. @Dee
    Thanks!

    @Kirklops
    Oh! I have not seen the Chennai edition ad. Will do so right away.

    @Vijeth
    Thank you. The encouragement is much appreciated.

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  5. I don't think in general they intended to hurt Times or insult times.

    Yes off late there ads are innovative.

    I recently did find out that Hindu also has a online paper which updates the latest happenings in real time.

    But its outlook is not that great as Times.
    During the recent elections clearly showed the drawbacks with Hindu. Lets see how the new management takes its way forward.

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