The recent formation of OneIndia, a platform for advertisers in print media, has ignited speculations of a fresh print war. The Telegraph, The Hindu, Hindustan Times and their vernacular publications, The Hindu Tamil, Hindustan and Ananda Bazar Patrika have come together to form OneIndia, which aims to take on media giant, The Times of India.
This association will allow advertisers to access the six publications through a single point of contact and avail cost advantage.
OneIndia, available by invitation to select display advertisers only, offers a single-platform reach, almost as comparable as, and incremental to television, along with the many clear benefits of print, such as immediacy, impact, comprehension, credibility, and a clutter-free environment, to name a few.
The question that arises is whether OneIndia can redraw and expand the marketing budget of advertisers to invest in newspapers.
Rameet Arora, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications & Menu Management, McDonald’s said, “It sounds very interesting and we can see efficiency in such an initiative, but they will have to go through a detailed analysis of the overall combination.”
He added, “Most probably, we will use it, but not increase investments. Overall, it sounds interesting.”
Domino’s doesn’t use the print medium very often to reach out to their customers. They use the print route when they announce something new in the menu. Television is the preferred medium for them.
Harneet Singh Rajpal, Vice President, Marketing, Domino’s Pizza India didn’t show much interest in this alliance. He said, “Impulse brands like us advertise more on television and use print as a support. We need to understand customer responsiveness and with television we achieve it in a better manner.”
When asked if an alliance like this can perhaps offer a cost advantage, he replied, “This initiative is good and can be used when necessary.”
Praising the platform, Manohar Bhat, VP, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki said, “This is a very good idea and it will become handy over time. If one wants to target some key markets, then it’s the best option. This idea can leverage various segments and category of a brand with strong presence in different key cities.”
With the election season and the Indian Premier League around the corner, it will be interesting to see how OneIndia will convince marketers to advertise on their platform.
Supporting the alliance, Amit Sharma, CVP - Marketing & Head, Media, Research & Customer Value Management, Max Life Insurance noted, “This initiative by the publishers appears credible enough to be seriously explored by media agencies. It appears unlikely that this will result in any migration or a shift from one medium to another, as each medium carries a business and marketing objective, which is dependent on many factors such as reach, efficacy, relevance, etc.”
He further said, “But it will definitely give cost benefits and create value for print-oriented advertisers. However, owing to the cross-region nature of this alliance, it is likely to benefit big advertisers more than regional players. A national brand footprint is necessary to take advantage of this alliance.”
The media agency perspective
Meanwhile, questioning the formation, Satyajit Sen, CEO, ZenithOptimedia said, “It is basically formed against The Times of India; the valuation of OneIndia is what matters.”
When asked if this initiative will convince advertisers to expand their marketing budget on print, he said, “Why should it influence or do anything to print? If one has to advertise in TOI or OneIndia, they will. It might expand some advertisers’ budget in some cases.”
According to Arun Sharma, VP, IPG Mediabrands, “This is a good initiative and it will enhance the brands, but the platform is targeting specific brands. The main aim of the initiative is to leave behind other newspapers and bring back the advertisers who are not largely inclined towards print.”