Innovation can’t cost reader experience: T Gangadhar

Innovations are not the prerogative of media agencies & media owners only, but also of advertisers & creative agencies, says MEC's MD

e4m by Ruchika Kumar
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 7:31 PM
Innovation can’t cost reader experience: T Gangadhar

The Indian Newspaper Kongress (INK) 2012, held on July 20 in New Delhi, put the spotlight on newspapers. Organised by exchange4media Group, the annual event aims to understand what the future holds for the newspaper industry, as stakeholders contemplated on how to bring about further growth for the medium. INK 2012 was presented by Dainik Jagran. Business Standard was the print partner.

More popularly termed as the ‘Morning Miracle’, the newspaper has come a long way in terms of innovations, more particularly in its usage and technological advancements. However, innovations in newspaper advertising should be exclusive and meaningful to the end consumer. They should be precise and impact the right kind of target audience through the right space in the newspaper.

According to T Gangadhar, Managing Director India, MEC, newspapers have the power to create a sense of occasion, sometimes even greater than television. He said, “A Rs 10-crore ad spend on newspaper probably talks about a lot more than Rs 10-crore on television.”

He felt that innovations are not the sole prerogative of the media agencies and media owners alone, but also of advertisers. Gangadhar pointed out that at GoaFest this year, the number of entries for innovations in print – both newspapers and magazines – was 30, which was a very low number for an industry. Compared to print, television innovations had 60-odd entries, while digital had 90 or so entries. “Somewhere it seems to say that innovation is probably new media. People seem to be losing interest as far as innovation in newspapers is concerned. If we are not able to excite the creative guys, the advertising agency, we have a problem,” he added.

He also cautioned that advertising has to be strategic and insight based, not intrusive for the consumer. Somewhere it has to sit with the overall integrated plan. The beauty of innovations is that the end consumer might not really know that it is an innovation. Like Colgate, stakeholders should understand consumer behaviour and create impactful and long-term innovations.

“My biggest grouse with newspapers is that they have ruined the reader experience. For instance, a half-page jacket is annoying. Innovation cannot come at the cost of reader experience. An element of surprise for the consumer is always welcome, though it might not always be possible,” Gangadhar further said.

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