HINDU Vs Times Of India - Just another Brand War or something beyond

 | February 27,2012 11:23 am IST

While Pepsi and coke seem to be enjoying their hibernation period, a new drama in brand wars has been attracting all TRPs. An event that was believed to be unconceivable is a reality today, the epic war of The Hindu and The Times of India, two of Indias print majors.

The Times of India is the highest circulated newspaper in the country while The Hindu remains choice of most well read and aspiring to be administrative officers (the coveted IAS), a very high profile job sought after by Indian youth.

The first episode unfolded back in September11 when The Times of India in its campaign to increase readership down in south , home of The Hindu, launched a TV commercial with a tagline Wake up to the Times portraying The Hindu too boring a paper to read and its sleep producing.

Cant comment on its effect on readers but the ad served as a wakeup call to The Hindu brand management team. The war was on, the first offensive being attempted at, counter attack was inevitable. The Hindu hit back with Stay Ahead of Timescampaign in a broader viewership of print, TV as well as internet. There were few good one liners , Because govt malfunctions matter more than the wardrobe malfunctions , Also has pages 1,2,4,5,6,7.. , For current affairs that go beyond Bollywood affairs.

TOI too replied with a quote from Einstien stating Information is not knowledge taking a dig at efforts of The Hindu. They supported with facts that people may know whos who, entertainment is altogether a different domain of theirs, if someone loves doing something it does not mean he/she gets absolved from doing the essentials.

The war is on. The new tale in the town , should it be taken as just another brand war on the lines of colas or health drinks or it has some hidden meaning, something alarming. Two big advertising agencies Taproot India (TOI) and Oglivy( The Hindu) with their creative work force have indulged themselves into a non creative work , arent their skills more required at increasing awareness about literacy, health, sex-ratio , environment and other constructive works? We a nation with numerous problems of numerous nature , what is going to our fate when the so called food for intellect ,the news media are blocked with stuffs that their system is not compatible with ? Its a matter worth giving a thought.