February 3, 2012

The Hindu vs TOI ad campaigns!

Hi Guys,

I have been having a thought of what to write and today got a topic to write. I was just thinking about the way Vodafone attracted customers with a big first page ad in The Hindu who were going to be left in no man’s land after the Supreme Court has ordered cancelling of licenses of the services providers who were hit by the 2G scam.

Just then I remembered the interesting campaigns from The Hindu and The Times of India against each other. And to add fuel, TOI published an ad today and it was spreading in the net.

Times of India’s ad
It all started a few months back when the Times of India, started publishing in Chennai. Chennai was already full of various newspapers with The Hindu topping the charts and TOI was scrambling. In order to attract the readers, it created an ad which portrayed the people of Chennai sleeping, because of the old gen newspaper and in order to wake up it insisted readers to switch over to the TOI. The Youtube's version has 66 likes and 346 dislikes.

In between
I thought the Hindu would never respond to it and even the people won’t mind that. The paper’s standards were higher and the quality was there. But I think the smart strategy from TOI to have low subscriptions and giving freebies for subscriptions must have worked for them. TOI’s yearly subscription costs less than the three month cost of the Hindu and so people were able to afford. The Hindu didn’t provide any yearly subscription then (though it was available for the earlier subscribers).

The Hindu hits back
So, The Hindu was preparing ads silently and it launched all of them suddenly. The ads started to work in its favor thanks to Facebook and Twitter and it was trending for nearly 3-4 days. There were three different 1 minute ads and each ad had a similar pattern. The questionnaire asks a current affair question like ‘Who succeeds Ratan Tata?’ and the people are not able to answer it. But when they are asked a question based on movies like ‘What is Hrithik Roshan’s pet name?’ they answer it. Then they are asked what newspaper they read and the voice is beeped. We do not need a lip reader to say its Times of India. As against the TOI ad, this ad has lot of likes and few dislikes in the youtube. One of these ads has more than 1250 likes and just 35 dislikes. This proves The Hindu is the hottest newspaper here.

Following the video ad, The Hindu published various types of print ads that came with the quote ‘Move ahead of the Times’. The captions were phrased nicely and I think they were simple and have a big impact. Captions like ‘Because Government Malfunctions matters more than Wardrobe malfunctions’ were superb.

The Truth
Being a regular subscriber of The Hindu, I have not read the TOI much and decided to check both the paper’s websites to find out who gives quality news. Clearly The Hindu wins. The Hindu covers all the leading news happening around. TOI maybe covering too, but looking from the Most Popular articles, it is clear that readers go there for entertainment news. Two-third of the news in TOI is about movies and movie stars and the quality of the articles are too poor compared to those of The Hindus. Here is a screenshot of the most popular articles (Time: Feb 03, 2012 – 18:30). TOI’s most popular articles in past 24 hours are given. It’s most popular articles over the past weeks and months are even poor.
The Hindu's most popular
TOI's most read
I thought the matter was over and today the Times of India has hit back, congratulating the Hindu for waking up to the Times. Now let’s see what happens next!

Happy Reading!!!


  1. Times of India should change its name to Timepass of India

  2. Nice Analysis Between two papers but why this Kolaveri towards The Times of India da ??? too much hot

  3. Wow ,nice analysis . But its important to choose what suits one most ......

  4. Think that the last ad is personal and way off the mark.

  5. @Harish

    accept it....


    its not against TOI.... but my point is that when it comes to content the hindu beats TOI in all possible ways... TOI focuses too much on entertainment... the mixture is not right...

  6. @Team G Square

    thanks for the compliments and yes, i accept that we should make the choice... people who want just entertainment can stick with TOI... people like me who buy newspaper to know about the current happenings should go with the hindu...

  7. @Arun

    yes, the last ad is the most hilarious one of all.... think TOI didn't have the creativity to make a good ad...

  8. Yeah, TOI is just not that good. Too much focus on non important things.
    Thats why my house gets The Indian Express.

  9. Wonderful, I liked that you have added your comments unlike other posts,where there has been a mere reporting of the events that took place.

    You are a Hindu Reader,so i take and respect your criticism against TOI. What is sad is, to see TOI readers, joining this bandwagon of bad mouthing the publication they read.

    My take on this similar subject - "Chamataka and His Concerns"

  10. Hey, nice article.
    Did you know that the superb ads of The Hindu were created by Oglivy and Mather? Check out the article "Do you want to Stay Ahead of the Times?" on www.binfikr.com for more information :)

  11. Okay was it you who commented on my post yesterday? Nice yardstick of comparison..!There are many offshoots of TOI in the market.


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