Hindustan Times recently relaunched itself in its current new, fresh and youthful look. Based on a clear positioning and extensive consumer research, the team decided to present today’s youth with a newspaper that they could easily identify with and deliver content that would help them move forward.
Neelanjan Shome, Chief Marketing Officer, HT Media, explained, “There is a need for change. As a media house, we are taking the lead and the onus of mobilising youth to participate in an emerging change process. The decision to revamp HT’s content – and supported by layout and design – to a contemporary format was taken so that there would be a new-found appeal to its young readers, while simultaneously retaining the editorial integrity that is synonymous with Hindustan Times.”
Sanjoy Narayan, Editor-in-Chief, Hindsustan Times, said, “By doing what we have done, not only have we laid the foundation for future growth in our existing and future markets, we have also raised the entry barrier for any future aspirant.”
But what remained as a challenge was directing young readers to try the new version of HT. The communication objective was to make news relevant to the youth and deliver it in a manner that they could easily identify with.
The message is conveyed through a series of short commercials that would be part of a long-running campaign. The core idea behind the campaign is to make the new generation connect with a newspaper by portraying real time situations which make people pause, sit up and think afresh.
Given that a younger audience is the target, it is important to strike the right balance in driving home the message without sermonising. Lowe Lintas chose to deliver a very serious message in a youth-centric manner to avoid any condescending overtones. The issues taken up are real-life situations and reactions – be it panic towards the swine flu, attitude towards gay relations, insensitive journalism or the cynicism towards the country’s development efforts. A rolled-up newspaper was used to deliver a “whack” as a creative device to signify the “change” in thought.
According to R Balki, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas India, “Hindustan Times was conceptualised as an ‘instrument of change’, intended to make people ‘pause, think and change’. The realisation that it was imperative to change ‘now’ was the underlying thought behind the ‘It is time’ relaunch campaign.”