He did it for The Hindu, Hindustan, Hindu Business Line, and now Dr Marcio Garcia has worked his charm on Mumbai’s daily Mid Day, too. The new look Mid Day hits the stands on February 27. As part of the new look, the paper has gone all colour and has added a new section ‘Your Guide’. No change, however, has been effected on the cover price or ad rates of the tabloid.
The last time Mid Day changed its look was in June 2001. It was then done by Australian designer Peter Ong. Speaking more on the reasons to change the look, Cyriac Mathew, COO, Mid Day, said, “We do it every five years. The idea is to keep the freshness of the paper going and at the same time reflect the changes in the city over a period of time. In comparison to 2001, today it is a ‘Naya Mumbai’ – there is more of everything – the standard of living has gone up and people’s expectation from a media product has increased further. The content of the paper continually addresses these changes and so does the look and feel, but a complete makeover like this, gives it an absolute punch.”
On the reasons to rope in international hands to do the job, Mathew said, “The concept of Mid Day is global. It is our responsibility to deliver to the city a product that is cutting edge in every way. With experts in the domain like Dr Marcio Garcia, there is a distinct international edge that comes in the end result and we ensure this international edge is coupled with the ‘Indianness’ or the Mumbai soul, that Mid Day stands for.”
The fact that the paper is going all-colour implies more investments. It may be recalled that Mid Day had set up a new print facility in Rabale towards the end 2005. Mathew explained that even as that was taking care of the enhanced print needs of the paper, the tabloid was seeing these investments giving returns in the longer run. “We aren’t going to increase the cover price or the rate to correspond the increase in investments,” said Mathew.
As to the whether there will be any impact on the editorial of the paper, Krishna Warrier, Executive Editor, Mid Day, replied, “Definitely. There will be improvements in all departments, from writing, reporting, photography to graphics, the whole approach to the way we do our work will get a much sharper focus with this new design.”
The new addition in the paper, ‘Your Guide’, will be a daily centrespread, which will be an “improvised” version of the listing of events and exhibitions in the city. Warrier said, “It would be the best guide to what you can do in Mumbai.” He explained that all other sections of the paper would continue even though with a “sharper focus”.
How does the decision of going all colour change the editorial responsibility on that front, Warrier said, “We have always been a visual paper. However, going all-colour gives us a chance to be even more visual. Again, you will see sharpness in the graphics, photographs – in just about everything of the paper.”
The first month of the “Naya Mid Day” would be supported by various promotional initiatives within the paper like food coupons and so on, which Mathew explained, had in any case been a key ingredient of Mid Day. However, a big marketing campaign is all set to break shortly.
According to Mathew, “We are on a peak at present. In the last month, we have added 28,000 new buyers, which means sale of 1.80 lakh copies. The reader is evidently already picking us up. Nonetheless, we will promote the new look Mid Day with a huge marketing activity and are still in the process of finalising details of the activity.”