The countdown is over. Hindustan Times has finally entered the Mumbai market. The daily has been launched at an introductory cover price of Rs 2.50 on weekdays. HT has intensified its marketing activities for the launch period, which commenced across mediums from July 13.
The main paper of the launch edition has 24 pages that includes sections like HT Metro, HT Classifieds, HT Nation, HT World, HT Business and HT Sports. Besides, the edition has an eight-page supplement, HT Style. The launch edition also provides readers with a bonanza, ‘Mumbai Magic’, a 32-page photo magazine featuring some of the most talked about areas in Mumbai. There is also a luxury magazine ‘Spend’ sent across with this issue, which the paper terms as ‘the week’s glossy’.
The Rs 2.50 pricing is for Monday to Saturday. The Sunday edition would be priced marginally higher, Anand Bhardwaj, Vice-President, Marketing, HT Media Limited, said. HT has filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for an IPO, which retrains company officials from divulging any information regarding circulation. The value of the IPO isn’t known yet.
Some of the advertisers in today’s launch edition Fidelity, BPL Mobile, LG, Intel Inside, Ambi Malls, HDFC, Tata Steel, Orange, Casio and Siemens.
Speaking about the marketing efforts, Bhardwaj said that the paper has continued with its print advertising, including in leading dailies like The Times of India. “We have increased the volume,” Bhardwaj said, adding “we have taken more outdoors now. We will also be using cinema and increasing our presence on radio as well.”
HT’s communication began with playing up the paper’s baseline ‘Let there be Light’ as the voice of the ad, moving on to a countdown. With creatives like ‘Three days and Mumbai will not be what it used to be’, the paper has managed to attract substantial reader attention. The campaign has evolved into the present message which is ‘See Mumbai in a different Light – Introducing Hindustan Times’.
In addition to these ads, the paper has also begun a promotional campaign, ‘Lucky 7 Offer’. The offer began from July 13, wherein people collecting any seven of the first 14 issues of the paper stand to win prizes. Speaking more on the promotion, Bhardwaj said, “Apart from collecting the papers, the participants have to complete a slogan.”
Nonetheless, Bhardwaj was quick to add that this was just an initial offer. “We aren’t going to be heavy on promotional offers. We believe that we are launching a very high quality product and the reader is getting good value for money,” he observed.