Marathi daily Loksatta has decided its time it made some noise in the market to attract reader attention. The paper has initiated a marketing campaign around its initiative ‘Scratch to Win’ and Loksatta officials say that in the process it has increased circulation by 60,000 copies in less than a month. Capitalising on the period, the paper has also started another supplement, ‘Viva’ targeted at the young female TG.
The initiative was put in place on May 29, 2005 and was initially planned to run for a month. Shankar Rao Shinde, Group Brand Head, Indian Express, said, “We had other such options to directly talk to the reader but Scratch to Win was the simpler one from the reader point of view. For us, of course, it meant a tedious task, which is paying off well.”
Shinde said that the paper has seen a steady increase in circulation ever since the inception of this initiative. “It has been a growth period and we have seen an increase of over 60,000 copies and in just 20 days in Mumbai alone, this is no joke. We had planned this initiative very well and have invested over Rs 1 cr in just the marketing around it.”
The marketing has been concentrated in Mumbai. On the launch day, the paper was inserted in a four-page jacket, which also served as an advertisement. Loksatta has taken mass media too, including outdoor presence through bus shelters and hoardings along with buntings and branding double-decker buses.
The paper itself has promoted the initiative well. Apart from the advertising space that it has taken, the editorial also writes about the people who have won the prizes getting front-page coverage. The paper is giving away 4,000 prizes everyday through this initiative and the prizes range from TV’s and refrigerators to washing machines and DVD players.
In addition, the paper also indulged in buzz marketing for the initiative. “We actually took it a step ahead and got in touch with people who are everyday commuters to work with us. It made more sense, as these are people that are seen daily by that set of people travelling and that made the conversations around the Scratch to Win more credible,” said Shinde. This is not the only level where the paper involved people.
Loksatta also invited housewives to spread the word for them in an initiative they term DTH - Direct To Home, “We advertised in the paper itself and trained the housewives who were interested.” Primarily, these people visited various homes asking and informing about Loksatta and even Indian Express in this case.
The campaign was launched with a set of objectives and Loksatta officials explain that the objectives have been achieved. Ratna Mujumdar, VP - Sales, Loksatta, said, “We have been able to add new clients in this period as well. There are names like Henkel and Sangini Diamonds, who have come on board and there are too more who will come in soon.”
She added that the paper is further encashing on this period. “We have introduced a supplement ‘Viva’ targeted at the young Marathi women,” said Mujumdar. Actor Sonali Kulkarni has been roped in as the brand ambassador and guest editor for the magazine. The supplement would be a bi-weekly and has again brought in new brands like Titan. Former editor of Newsweek, US for Lifestyle, Sunita Wadekar Bharghav is also the editor on Viva.
Loksatta has also introduced a monsoon offer. Mujumdar divulged that on June 27, the paper will announce a scheme for advertisers that will allow the ones who take a minimum of 60 cc space in the main paper, an equivalent space, complimentary in any of the other supplements of the paper.
The paper is expecting to increase more circulation on the back of the ‘Scratch to win’ initiative. The contest was slated to end on June 29 but Loksatta is contemplating to extend it by another 15 days.