Hindustan urges couples to take the #aathwaphera

Rajan Bhalla, CMO, HT Media Group, talks to exchange4media about Hindustan’s campaign that calls for equality between the man and the woman, and has been timed around the occasion of Karwachauth

by Neeta Nair
Published - Oct 18, 2019 8:31 AM Updated: Oct 18, 2019 2:54 PM

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Bhalla

Hindustan, the Hindi daily from the HT Media Group, has launched a brand campaign asking couples across the country to take the #aathwaphera, one that calls for equality between the man and the woman, timed perfectly around the occasion of Karwachauth. In conversation with exchange4media, Rajan Bhalla, CMO, HT Media Group and Saurabh Sharma, National Marketing Head, Hindustan talk about why they feel women empowerment needs more than lip service and how they are trying to achieve that through this video.

Elaborating on the campaign, Rajan Bhalla says, “Hindustan is a progressive brand, and believes that new perspectives have the power to bring about a positive change in the society. ‘Aathwa Phera’ is an initiative that will connect deeply, emotionally and evangelize the core brand positioning of ‘Tarraki Ka Naya Nazariya’. Most importantly it will bring home the message of gender equality in the society."

The 2 minute 50 seconds long video has received more than 10 lakh views on YouTube alone less than a week after its launch. Talking about the marketing mix for it, Saurabh Sharma says, “We will be promoting this campaign across the Print medium, Television, Digital and on Radio as well. If you look at our region of operation, i.e. UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and some parts of Delhi NCR, it is not that a woman’s aspirations here are not as high as that of someone in the metro. She wants to be treated like an equal too but just hasn’t got her due. The whole essence of the campaign was to attack this.”

The campaign will run for the next three to four months through the length of the wedding season in the country. Sharma says, “We thought that there is so much being said about women empowerment, but the data doesn’t show any real progress. So we started off with a plain, simple approach that we want people to do something, take some action which goes beyond lip service and in this case that action is a vow. And the numbers are speaking for themselves. We are seeing an overwhelming response in terms of the kind of positive comments that are pouring in.”

Hindustan’s recent campaigns have been executed keeping women at the centre-stage, their election campaign earlier this year had the theme ‘Ab nari ki baari’. 2019 has not exactly been the best year for Print medium with the Q2 IRS findings stating that eight of the ten most read newspapers in the country showed a drop in the average issue readership over the Q1 2019 edition of the study.

Hindustan has maintained its second position in Hindi dailies while leading in markets like Bihar and Uttarakhand. Sharma says, “About 55%-60% of HT media’s print revenue comes from Hindustan. We will continue to build our leadership position in Bihar and Jharkhand while also focusing on UP because it is a very expansive and attractive market for us. Our end objective of being the country’s number 2 newspaper is what we are going to work towards. And number 2, simply because currently the difference between the number 2 and the number 1 newspaper is quite large. And in business it’s less of emotions and more of logic. Being number 1 or number 2 is incidental; the entire game should be about delivering reach.”

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