As the pujo season begins, the West Bengal print industry is preparing for one of the most heated battles of recent times in a market that has traditionally been dominated by the ABP Group. ABP’s Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika enjoys more than twice the share of its nearest competitor in the market.
But now media giant, BCCL (Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd), better known as The Times Group, has challenged the market leader with Ei Samay, a Bengali newspaper that launches in the market on October 15, 2012. The newspaper enters the market with a competitive cover price of Re 1.
ABP Group already put its flanking strategy in action with the launch of tabloid Ebela that hit the market on September 17, 2012. Ebela in fact marked the second big Bengali daily launch from the ABP Group after its flagship Anandabazar Patrika, which was launched back in 1922.
Both media companies have gone all out to promote their new Bengali print brands. Ei Samay’s campaign includes promotion through TVCs, outdoor, print and digital targeting the urban Bengali readers. Campaigns titled ‘Aamar Samay’ (my times) and ‘Ei Toh Samay’ (this is the time) is underway in the market at present, along with a campaign showcasing success stories such as Mary Kom, Mamata Banarjee and Shah Rukh Khan. The campaign will also be seen on-ground through activations, events and sponsorships.
Company officials stated that the paper is targeted at SEC A and A+, 20-35 year old Bengalis.
Kaustuv Chatterjee, Vice President (Brand) - Languages, BCCL said, “Ei Samay has what young Bengal wants and it endeavours to open channels of dialogue between this audience and advertisers. We are pretty confident that the people of Kolkata will connect powerfully with the brand.”
Ei Samay’s content looks to focus on local news, business and sports. It will also offer regular supplements including ‘Onnya Samay’ that is targeted at people across age groups.
It is understood from ground sources that other newspapers from the market are also likely to gear up with promotions to attract the Bengali readers. Some of the other dailies in the market are Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Uttar Banga Sambad, Ekdin and Ganashakti.
For Ei Samay, the objective is to take on market leader. ABP Group however is prepared and hopeful that Ebela will also take a leadership spot in the market and help not only to keep the distance between ABP Group and its competition but also safeguard the Group’s advertising pie.
With the intention to serve the paper in a sleek and easy-to-carry format, Ebela is a tabloid targeted at the young readers of West Bengal. The newspaper showcases news on current affairs, entertainment, sports and lifestyle. Ebela also features popular characters from Bengali adventure literature such as Feluda, Bomkesh and Kakababu.
The tabloid continues to be promoted extensively through print, outdoor and TVCs. Malls, metro trains and Volvo buses in Kolkata have been branded to promote Ebela. A series of ground activities has also been planned for greater connect with the TG.
While the launch of two new titles in West Bengal makes it a tough market to compete in at present, many industry observers believe that efforts from both ABP and Times would play a role in growing the market further than just creating competition, and consequent fragmentation.
(With inputs from Abid Hasan)