Hindustan Times Mumbai is completing one and a half years in Mumbai, and in what the organisation describes as continuous evolution, has embarked on yet another revamp. The organisation views the changes in this round as “radical” and hence, states that “the next generation of HT is introduced”.
The publication has also launched a massive multi-media campaign. While O&M is handling the creatives, the media agency is Maxus. The media plans include outdoor campaigns that broke with a teaser almost a week prior to the launch of the revamped HT on January 1, 2007, and was then taken forward in outdoor, print and radio. HT papers were delivered in a jacket on January 1, 2007 that unveiled the new look.
The campaign is expected to go on for six weeks. Subsequently, a sampling operation will be implemented, wherein HT has identified various touch points to ensure that the readers get a taste of the changed product.
Speaking on some of these changes, Anand Bhardwaj, Marketing Head of HT Media, said, “HT follows a content philosophy and this revamp doesn’t change that philosophy at all. However, we are continually in touch with our readers and base many of our decisions on reader feedback. From this point, we have introduced some changes in the paper and we believe they are significant enough to be called the next generation of HT.”
The two major changes seen are the introduction of HT Café, a 32-page supplement on entertainment in a compact size that Bhardwaj sees as a paper within a paper. The section replaces HT Style. Giving the rationale here, Bhardwaj said, “The Indian reader has great appetite for entertainment news. HT Café is a daily, edited by Khalid Mohammad, which will be much richer in everything. Since the product is different in shape and content philosophy, we decided to give it a different name.”
The second initiative is seen in HT-2 – an eight-page supplement that would be part of the main paper, which contains business and world news. “With India becoming more corporate and global, readers want more of global business oriented news – this will take care of that,” explained Bhardwaj. Some other changes include the introduction of a Yellow pages section.
Data shows that DNA, which was launched at the same time as HT in Mumbai, has some lead in terms of readership on the paper. Whether this “generation next” approach and revamp make a difference for HT is an interesting watch.