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Common business-move or avowing superiority?

20-April-2004
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Common business-move or avowing superiority?

There are lots more beyond what we can presume – at least, when it comes to Indian media. The print war, involving the two archrivals, The Times Of India and Hindustan Times unfurls a new facet that leaves much of a surprise.

Heard the hi-frequency ad aired on The Times Group-promoted Radio Mirchi, saying: “It’s the time to disco. The new Hindustan Times Brunch, read it at your own pace.” Surprised? You must.

There’s more. HT has no second thought recognising Mirchi as one of the radio biggies. “There are three major radio channels in India. We could not think of ignoring Radio Mirchi,” says Anand Bhardwaj, Vice-President Marketing, HT. He, however, makes clear that it is all about common business sense.

Mirchi believes the same way. “It’s purely a commercial move and why would we have any qualms about Hindustan Times advertising on Radio Mirchi,” Nandan Srinath, Station Head, Radio Mirchi, Delhi, echoes Bhardwaj.

Media world, however, takes the radio angle. “Radio is a very local mode, so this is definitely a trend which is in upswing,” avers Sulina Menon, Chief Executive Officer, North/East, Carat Media Services.

On the other hand, Regional Creative Director, JWT Central Asia & Executive Creative Director, JWT India Syeda Imam probes into this and exudes the confidence factor. “It's a game, no doubt. It speaks of a confidence without allowing any inaccuracy,” she observes.

Is it an instance of one-up rivalry? If Mirchi boasts of being un-ignorable, doesn’t it sound that HT leaves a snigger stating how powerful it is that it uses the rival’s vehicle to claim superiority?

Perhaps. But until HT ventures into the radio world, why not? At least, readers enjoy games and it keeps the rivalry top of the mind. And yes, advertisers will certainly tend to seize all such opportunities for hype. It's a trend that seems to gather, rather than dissipate.

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