Amidst MCD polls in Delhi and Lagan fever, readers were greeted with the new look Indian Express, this Sunday. Hoping to ‘bring Sunday reading back in fashion,’ the cover price for Mumbai edition has been dropped from Rs 5 to Rs 2. The Delhi edition, which is currently priced at Rs 4, is expected to follow suit, soon. As exchange4media’s subscribers would recall, we had reported this development on 2nd February.
Redesigned and narrower, this 30 Page issue looked smart and glitzy. Three magazines; ‘Newsline’, ‘Upfront’ and ‘Express Eye’ supplemented the main issue. ’Express Eye’ in glazed jacket looked set to take on widely circulated ‘Sunday Review’ from The Times of India. With the Lagan fever sweeping the nation, opening story by Kaizad Gustad, on ‘vitality of Bollywood’ looked well timed.
“Instead of just being a continuation of weekly newspaper, we have positioned The Sunday Express as a stand-alone Sunday Newspaper. It symbolizes a whole new approach. The stories are longer and in-depth, suited for ponderous Sunday reading,” says NP Singh, Director Corporate and Marketing at Indian Express
What are the expectations? For one, Indian Express hopes to make some head way in the important territory- Delhi. Caught up in the price war amongst two leading papers, it is hoping to get heard. With smart packaging, it may also hope to attract some incremental advertising. “We are providing a new vehicle for up-market advertising. We hope to gain more circulation and advertising,” opines Singh.
If advertising support in the first issue is any indicator, the change seems to have worked. The question is, can it be sustained?