The Sun Network’s takeover of the Dinakaran group took visible effect with eveninger ‘Tamil Murasu’ being re-launched in Chennai last Monday in a tabloid format at a price of Rs 2. The Sun Network has taken the aggressive promotion route for the eveninger, with high frequency promos and freebies with each issue.
Speaking to Exchange4media, P Saravanan, Head - New Projects, Sun Network, said, “The new positioning is clearly one that will attract all segments – from youths to office goers to the elderly. The tabloid format has also been received very well and the current circulation is at 1.3 lakh.”
The paper has been completely revamped, and other editions of the eveninger are expected to follow suit in the coming months. The move is being seen as a precursor to the re-launch of ‘Dinakaran’ daily, which will happen “in the next one or two months”. A revamped editorial and marketing team is already in place.
A new rate card for the eveninger is being worked on, and will be frozen based on market feedback over the next few days. “We have seen an encouraging inflow of ads since the re-launch, and a lot of enquiries are coming in,” Saravanan said.
A free ballpoint pen with the first day’s issue was followed up with several more products on subsequent days. The freebies are expected to continue for ‘some more time’. The combination of the freebie route and the high-frequency promos through its TV channels has worked wonders in the past for Sun Network, catapulting the group’s weekly ‘Kungumam’ to No 4 on the All India NRS scales, and to the leadership slot in Tamil Nadu (NRS 2005).
‘Tamil Murasu’ will have to take on the leading Tamil eveninger ‘Malai Malar’, from the Daily Thanthi Group. Three editions of another eveninger, ‘Malai Murasu’, are also with the Sun-owned Dinakaran group.
The other Tamil evening dailies offer four to eight pages of content. ‘Malai Malar’ and ‘Malai Murasu’ are priced at Rs 3, while ‘Makkal Kural’ (from the publishers of ‘Trinity Mirror’) is priced at Rs 2.
The re-launch of the eveninger was preceded by a teaser campaign 'Nach Innu Irukku' across the Sun Network’s TV channels, including Sun TV and K TV, and ‘Dinakaran’ daily, for a week before the re-launch.
Elaborating on the chosen format, Saravanan said, “We wanted the eveninger to be new and different from the other offerings in the market – a colourful tabloid format was found suitable.” Responding to a query, he said that advertisers would not be offered a combined package involving the new dailies of the group and the TV channels.
Kathir, a new entrant to the group, is the Editor-in-charge of ‘Tamizh Murasu’. The new design of the evening paper has been developed entirely in-house, and the visual-rich and appealing 20-pager seems to have woken up the Tamil eveninger segment.