The Hindi daily Amar Ujala claims to have made deeper inroads in Varanasi. The holy city has been witnessing a cut-throat price competition, since the beginning of this year, among the leading Hindi dailies including Aj, Dainik Jagran and Hindustan besides Amar Ujala.
Amar Ujala had reported a circulation of 9000 plus for its Varanasi city edition at the beginning of May this year. As per the newspaper claims, the figure has jumped to 54,000 plus by the middle of November this year. Much of the credit could be attributed to the aggressive cover price strategy. Starting the year with a cover price of Rs.3.50, the newspaper has reduced the price twice this year. When Aj brought down their price from Rs. 2 to Re.1 on 1st of May, Amar Ujala retaliated by dropping down their price to Rs.2. Amar Ujala further slashed it to Rs.1.50.
To highlight the growth of Amar Ujala in Varanasi in the last few months, the Hindi daily took a 50 plus strong team of media planners and buyers (including this exchange4media correspondent) from the leading agencies including Initiative Media, FCB Ulka-Lodestar, O&M, Mudra, Carat India and TBWA\Anthem to Varanasi some time back. "The trip was to break myths and make media persons aware of the fast changing media scenario in the market of Varanasi," stated Atul Maheswari, MD, Amar Ujala in a response to exchange4media. He added further in his typical candid manner, "Seeing is believing. Where myths, outdated notions and obsolete figures get demolished, realities see the light and benefit the genuine claimants."
Amar Ujala seems to be in a consolidation mood after expansion in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K states besides the Varanasi market in the last few years. As part of the same process, besides the aggressive marketing strategy, the content has also been revamped sometime back. The masthead, text and pictures have been reorganized to match the changing needs of the consumers.