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Looks matter most. Or do they?

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Looks matter most. Or do they?

Hindustan Times, this month, has surely something refreshing about it. A new look, new supplements and a new advertising campaign. Freshness is visible all across. But is a media product all about looks or looking good? ‘Makes you look Good’ claims the campaign. exchange4media takes a first hand feel of the reactions the multimedia campaign has generated, from advertising minds. Leading ad agency O&M has created the campaign.

“HT is looking lot younger through this campaign. I think it breaks out of its dated image. They are trying to connect to the youth. And, therefore, is catching up with the changing pace of the world,” says Rupam Borah, Creative Director, Leo Burnett.

Counters Sanjeev Bhargava, VP, FCB Ulka, “It’s slightly superficial. Is looking good what a newspaper all about?”

“The guy in the ad looks good because of the paper, because it makes him more informed and more competent. Being competent does not stop at looking good. The campaign doesn’t have the needed depth,” adds Bhargava.

Ullas Chopra, Executive Creative Director, Mudra is an HT reader and welcomes the refreshing change. “It was a nice surprise. The teasers initially almost looked like as if it was a Tommy Hilfiger campaign. These days newspapers are so much about looks and presentation, a trend started by Times of India. Hindustan Times has been able to strike a balance between looks and content over the years. It definitely looks good,” says Chopra.

Argues Anil Thakraney, Creative Head, Lowe Delhi, “I think it's a cool idea, but for the wrong product. 'Look good' (is it inspired from feel good?????) is a cool caption for floozy brands, not a brand that stands for (at least seems to) hard journalism. Communication of that sort for HT belittles all the good work done by editor Sanghvi and his journalists. It simply glorifies the Page 3 of the paper's colourful supplement.”

Adding a new dimension, Santosh Desai, President, McCann Erickson, says, “It somehow reflects their intrinsic desire. I think HT has come a long way in content and today you can actually call it an intelligent newspaper. In HT’s advertising its core values need to be communicated.”

“Moreover, television advertising doesn’t really help the cause of a product like media (in general cases) where the product itself is so important,” points Desai.

But is the promise of ‘makes you look good’ delivered through the product? “The product is already good and the advertising for a media product works when it is consistent with the product and its core values,” feels Desai. Bhargava couldn’t give a comment because he is not an HT reader, but states that he is well aware that HT has been constantly in the improvement mode. Borah, on the other hand, left it by saying “they are just trying to connect with the younger audience. That’s it.”

Well, it’s then a mixed bag we are looking at.


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