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Mumbai Mirror begins day one with two-lakh circulation

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Mumbai Mirror begins day one with two-lakh circulation

The first of the new English newspapers expected in Mumbai, ‘Mumbai Mirror’ was launched this morning marking the beginning of the print war in the city. Divulging that the compact has begun with a circulation of 2 lakh, accompanied by the launch campaign today, Vineet Jain, Managing Director, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., said that The Times of India is prepared for the threat that Mumbai Mirror can pose to it. “It is growth for the group first. This will lead to the overall expansion of the print market and in the process, if there is cannibalisation, it is all right. Internal cannibalisation is healthy,” he remarked.

Mumbai Mirror inaugural issue
With a broadsheet in the picture and several magazines, one would think that going for a compact was an obvious choice. Jain elaborated, “Compact is a tried and tested format internationally. Respected papers like The Independent and now Wall Street Journal have adopted it. In an age when everything is going for a concise size – ranging from laptops to iPods -- the same makes sense for today’s newspapers too. You never know, in a matter of time, we might turn the TOI to a compact as well.”

According to Jain, the challenge for the newcomer will be to take on the Times itself but the beginning has happened at the No. 2 spot. “The objective is a difficult one, to have a higher circulation than TOI, but we have started on a healthy note. In regard to circulation, we are already the No. 2 player beginning with a circulation figure of two lakh on day one,” he said.

Mumbai Mirror’s Brand Director, Bhaskar Das, who is also Executive President, Response, is clear about the paper’s way forward. He observed, “Mumbai Mirror is a paper that reflects the Mumbai spirit and addresses the youth. The paper will be a crisp presentation of everything that is of importance to the Mumbai reader.”

This point was further accentuated with Mumbai Mirror being launched by actor Abhishek Bachchan and Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh explaining to the gathering why the paper would be an asset to the people in Mumbai. He said, “I thank the Times for bringing a paper which identifies the growing needs of the Mumbai youth ‘sspirit. I hope the paper finds its right place in the Mumbai market.”

Bachchan was more to the point when he said, “All you people out there, please go buy the paper!”

The Times Group had gone all out to mark the beginning of its newborn – the launch event took place at the Gateway of India, amidst fireworks, laser shows, para gliders marking the sky with the red and black Mumbai Mirror logo and, courtesy some clever lighting, the brand name was over the Gateway of India itself.

Mumbai Mirror – A close look at the inaugural issue

As promised, the inaugural issue is a 48-page morninger, and carries an ‘Invitation Price Rs 2’ pointer.

The compact presently has three content pages in colour – cover page, one world page and one entertainment page.

In context to advertising, the compact has an eight-page classified special called ‘Your Connect’. Of the balance 40 pages, there are nine full-page ads including a centrespread with advertisers like Provogue, Videocon, Suzlon and Sahara One. The paper has a good quotient of local advertisers like Vijay Sales, Raunak Group, Gracious Communication, etc.

Other local advertisers like Book Zone and Ice tea have promotional offers for Mumbai Mirror readers in the inaugural issue. The fact that the compact will be heavy on that factor is evident from the cover page itself, which has the line ‘This paper is your free movie ticket’ written on top of the masthead. It has a tie-up with Fame Adlabs for this.

One cannot miss the advantage that the compact size has for a few advertisers in terms of the size of the ad in proportion to the size of the page.

In terms of content, the paper has tried to cover national and international news. Other areas that see prominence are city news sports and entertainment news.

The back of the book component ‘Chai Time’ is decent with two pages of crosswords, number games, comic strips and Sunita Menon competing with Marjorie Orr for ‘Astrology’. Just as Mid Day has a ‘Are you in the pic’, so does Mumbai Mirror and gift here is a Rs 1000 voucher from Provogue.TV and theatre listings are available as well. This is the inaugural issue in totality.

The war has indeed begun with this inaugural issue and Jain is positive, “The forthcoming papers are very good for the overall print scene – they will drive the market’s growth further. We are very excited with the Times ahead.”

Das added, “In the present state of affairs, ToI is the number one paper, followed by Economic Times and Maharashtra Times and now Mumbai Mirror is also in the picture – whoever comes now will have to begin at the fourth position – in all, it is going to be fun.”

Fun is definitely the keyword for the readers and the advertisers with Mumbai Mirror beginning with invitational schemes for both.


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