Firstpost TVC goes the eco-friendly way

The TVC, created by Contract Advertising, shows how trees are cut to generate newsprint for newspapers; it encourages readers to read news online

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: May 30, 2012 2:24 AM
Firstpost TVC goes the eco-friendly way

Firstpost’s new TVC seeks to change everyone’s habit of reading the morning newspaper and encourages them to switch to reading news online.

The TVC, created by Contract Advertising, shows how trees are cut down to generate newsprint for newspapers, leading to deforestation and adverse affect on wildlife. It stresses on the issue that these newspapers provide news a day late.

The ad brings the viewer face-to-face with the reality that the planet is under siege. It then goes on to say that there is a new option for the new age – Firstpost. The ad ends with the line: ‘Read today’s news today, not a day later’.

The brief
At the concept stage, what Firstpost set out to achieve was simply to reach out to a larger audience. The challenge was to take Firstpost to internet users who still thought of the ‘morning newspaper’ whenever they thought of ‘news’. The objective was to get people to turn to Firstpost for their dose of news.

Explaining Firstpost’s commitment to digital journalism, Durga Raghunath, VP – Products and Executive News Producer, Firstpost said, “News has moved beyond the static newspaper. The idea is to make readers entirely rethink their view of news as it happens.”

On the brand promise being met here, Raghunath explained that Firstpost was about presenting news as it breaks, with views, comments and interactivity in the shortest time possible. It is also about “having a conscience and saying very clearly what is right, wrong and where we stand on issues. It is about setting exclusive digital journalism as a viable new form. This ad states all these most effectively,” she stressed.

“While Firstpost had its dedicated following, the task was to migrate newspaper readers to Firstpost,” explained Ravi Deshpande, Chief Creative Officer, Contract Advertising.

Mapping out the approach, he said, “We were pretty sure that once the audience was there, the product itself would hook them. After all, Firstpost is a truly international news product from India that has not been an offshoot of a traditional newspaper attempting to replicate itself online.”

Challenging newspapers would have to be done at a poetic level. Thus, the direction the agency has taken in the film is to display the terrible loss of trees that the planet endures so that the reader gets to read news that is already a day old. It attempts to cue people on how they can read news fast on Firstpost without hurting the planet.

“While personally I feel reading a newspaper in the morning is rather romantic, the shift to digital is inevitable. Sooner we all do it, the better it is for our only planet,” elaborated Deshpande.

Media mix
Television and digital are being used to promote this campaign. On using social media, Raghunath said, “We will not go hammer and tongs and spam the internet user or our followers; we will show rather than tell.”

Industry speak
For covering a sensitive issue like deforestation, this TVC is being regarded in a positive light.

Commenting on the ad, Sambit Mohanty, ECD, Bates said, “I quite liked the TVC, because it's not pompous, preachy nor does it takes potshots at competition. Rather, it hinges on a simple little insight – get newspaper readers to realise that they are reading stale news (therefore, they should start logging on to Firstpost).” He added that in these eco-conscious times, the ad has managed to get the message across in a manner that makes perfect sense.

Anindya Banerjee, Branch Head and Executive Creative Director, Scarecrow Communications found it “a good commercial and well made one too”. He pointed out that perhaps the only thing going against this commercial is the fact that the payoff is very generic – it could work for any news site. Also, it does not lead up to their baseline ‘The world must know’. “But in the television medium that is full of mediocre ads, this one will definitely stand out,” he concluded.

Campaign credits:

Client: Firstpost
Agency: Contract Advertising
Chief Creative Officer: Ravi Deshpande
Copywriter: Ravi Deshpande
Art Director: Ravi Deshpande and Salil Sojwal
Director: Bosco

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