The Times of India Chennai edition recently turned two on April 14, 2010. In order to mark the completion of two years, the paper had brought out a series of inserts from April 9-14. The overall theme of the special feature was ‘Chennai talkies’.
Talking about the initiative, Ninan Thariyan, Assistant Vice President, Times of India Chennai, said, “Chennai is well-known for movies, and we wanted to tell the story of Chennai as if it was the hero of a movie. So, from April 9-14, we brought out various features, including a 24-page feature on April 14. On the whole, we have done about 70 pages of features during this time. What is more important is that our special feature had advertisers’ participation from all over India, though the lion’s share of it came from Chennai.”
Thariyan further said that the deviation that they had taken was that usually the features were standalone pullouts. But this year, they were part of Chennai Times itself.
“There was a very large component of Chennai retail advertisers who were also present in this issue, which is a very clear acknowledgement of the fact that the newspaper is working for the advertisers,” he remarked, adding that as far as Ascent was concerned, they were the volume leader. “The paper has been well received and in two years’ time, usually newspapers don’t get this kind of acknowledgement. Chennai market has embraced TOI rather fast, as compared to other markets where TOI had set its foot on, which is a very interesting and very satisfying thing,” Thariyan added.
Commenting on this two-year journey of The Times of India, Rahul Kansal, Chief Marketing Officer, The Times of India, said that they were happy with the progress that TOI Chennai had made in the market in the last two years. According to Kansal, the paper was selling around 2.4 lakh copies in the city of Chennai and some more copies outside the city.
He added, “Chennai as a city has progressed and moved a lot in the last few years, and the people of the city probably wanted a choice. They were probably looking for another quality newspaper, which is a little more reader friendly, vibrant and little more aligned with the popular needs of the readers.”