Mid Day ran an impact-cover advertisement for HT as its cover page on January 24, 2011, for its ‘No TV Day Campaign’. exchange4media finds out about the strategy behind print competitors advertising with their rivals.
Does it make sense to advertise with your direct competitor in a market?
Salil Sadanandan, Business Head, West and South, Hindustan Times, explained “Newspaper has a role beyond news; it has a strong civic and social responsibility. So with this initiative we are keen to connect and engage with as many Mumbaikars as possible and not merely restrict it to readers of HT, who are a predominantly high end SEC A/B audience. It was important for us to connect with people of all walks of life including lower SECs, commuters and people who do not read English newspapers. With this view, we have advertised with not only Mid Day but some other dailies too, such as Gujarat Samachar. I think people across all strata will appreciate this concept (as all our feedback already indicates) and will participate in their own special way. We want this initiative to be a mass movement over the coming years and not merely the idea for one segment of society.”
However, why did HT go with Mid Day and not any other English newspaper in Mumbai? Manajit Ghoshal, MD and CEO, Mid Day Infomedia Ltd. said “I feel, as far as Mumbai is concerned, Mid Day is one of the most efficacious mediums and platforms for advertising. HT realises that and hence it advertised with us. It reinforces our belief in the market and on our product. But it is not a move which does not have precedence, as when DNA was launched in Mumbai, they had advertised with us. I think if we had a message to deliver in perhaps Delhi, we would advertise with HT too.”
PM Balakrishnan, Vice President, Percept Media, felt, “Quite frankly, I don’t see competitors advertising with competitors as too much of an issue. It’s a marriage of convenience and probably works for both parties. Mid Day gets ad-revenues from HT, whereas HT gets a wider reach and a different TG when it advertises with Mid Day. There is no harm in such a partnership from a strategic viewpoint.”
According to Bhavna Jha, Head, TME Delhi, the readers are not bothered which newspaper brings them the message; they are only bothered about the message per se. She went on to say, “I definitely feel that HT has more to gain out this arrangement than Mid Day. Mid Day is a veteran in Mumbai and has been a strong tabloid for a long time. By advertising with Mid Day, HT is getting mileage to spread its message across masses. It also implies that Mid Day is considered to be a strong platform to advertise on.”