In television, courtesy clients like Vodafone and Hindustan Unilever, roadblocks are more common than one would imagine. However, print saw its first ever roadblock deal on November 11, 2009, when all editions and all ad space of The Times of India were taken by German car manufacturer Volkswagen. While official numbers were not available, unconfirmed sources peg the spend at over Rs 7 crore.
Media agency MediaCom has been instrumental in getting this deal in place. The roadblock is only for one day, that is on November 11, 2009, and only for The Times of India brand from the BCCL stable. TOI officials view this as “a landmark in brand-engagement”.
A communiqué stated: “The idea as well as the effort has been to co-create a single-engagement proposition for Volkswagen to create a huge impact in relevant blocking out of every other advertisement or any other form of communication for any other brand. It is, of course, not the first innovation by The Times Group, and it certainly won’t be the last.”
All Volkswagen brands – Jetta, Passat and Touareg – have been advertised as part of this deal.