Bangalore is seeing some print action these days. After Deccan Chronicle, it is now DNA’s turn to announce its presence in Bangalore through the outdoor media. And both papers are targeting the youth in their communications. The DNA campaign, created by Contract Mumbai, shows several young men and women claiming ‘I believe in Bangalore - Because Bangalore is in my DNA’. Similarly, Deccan Chronicle sports the tagline ‘For young minds’, which clearly states its TG. What’s more, an outdoor ad for The New Indian Express too features a youngster. So why is a traditional medium like newspaper targeting the youth? Is it just an intelligent strategy to attract advertisers who obviously want to reach this segment of the population?
Giving his take on this, PR Satheesh, COO, Tag Media Network, said, “Youth is the future of tomorrow and need to be caught when they are in their late teens or as young adults before they enter the corporate world.”
Agreeing with Satheesh, Sudha Natrajan, COO and Joint President, Lintas Media group, said, “Today’s youth, especially in Bangalore with its mushrooming ITES industry, has a disposable income earlier in their lives than the older generations, hence, the ‘Catch ‘em young and watch ‘em grow’ philosophy of the newspapers.”
Rajesh Gangwani, Senior VP, JWT, which has worked on The Times of India’s Lead India campaign, said, “At one level it’s not surprising, given we are the youngest nation in the world. I also feel that these ads signal recognition of youth power and growing youth activism in the area of bringing social change. Youth are keen to express their opinions and points of view on various issues, and they are interacting with various media to do this. There is also evidence of a trend of youth going back to reading, gauging by the plethora of niche magazines launched across varied subjects or the popularity of Indian fiction from young novelists.”
TOI’s successful Lead India campaign was able to mobilise public opinion and a large number of them comprised young readers. Also, the recent campaign for TOI Kannada aims to present the paper as a choice of the progressive youth with the tagline ‘Yella new guru’.
Hari Krishnan, Vice President, JWT, gave an interesting insight. He said, “Youth is not just a buzzword. We all know that the big spenders target youth. The pitch to potential advertisers has to be strong when it comes to youth as a segment, which is further strengthened by the brand’s youth centric positioning and editorial content tailored for the youth. Over a period of time, these initiatives move the needle and reflect in syndicated research data, which in turn influences the media vehicle decisions made by advertisers.”
It is interesting to note that digital is the medium, which one believes youth prefers and not print. Yet, a traditional medium like newspaper is not targeting someone who is 35+ in its ads, but definitely the young upwardly mobile IT/BPO crowd.
Natrajan gives some facts on this. She said, “As per IRS 2008 R1, 68 per cent of Bangalore and Mumbai comprises people in the age-group of 12-39. Also 40 per cent and 44 per cent of the population in Bangalore and Mumbai, respectively, can read English, while the maximum reach for any English daily in Bangalore and Mumbai is 16 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively. Therefore, there is a huge potential for organic growth in both these markets for English dailies, which incidentally has seen the maximum amount of launch activity in both these markets.”
Natrajan also clears the myth of print being a traditional medium and hence, not relevant to the youth. Citing IRS 2008, R1 data, he said that in the category Youth AA (12-29) the reach of press in Bangalore was much higher than that of the Internet. She added, “Internet, unlike perception, is not a bigger medium than print for the youth if one were to look at the city as a whole.”
As Krishnan pointed out, there were two aspects to the digital habits of the youth when it came to conventional media brands. First, newspapers haven’t entirely lost their relevance with this segment, though the average time spent must be much lesser than before. Therefore, the editorial content needs to be tailored to suit the new requirements of the youth. Secondly, some of these brands are available on the digital domain as well. The media brand needs to create affinity with the consumer and deliver on two key parameters – speed and credibility. Then it is up to the user whether he needs to access the brand offline (print) or online (digital).
So is this strategy just for Bangalore, which boasts of a sizeable young population or it holds true for any other city as well? Satheesh said, “It should be the same across the country, however, the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai must be leading the youth focus because of the presence of IT/BPO organisations in large numbers in these cities.”
Natrajan though has a different take. She said, “Apart from Deccan Chronicle and New Indian Express none of the other launches/ re-launches in Bangalore have used the youth image overtly. I feel that DNA takes the route of being a newspaper which understands the personality of Bangalorean across various strata of life. They are talking to a youthful mindset of the population, who are extremely proud to be Bangaloreans.”