The Hindu’s lovely cartoon–which Times of India could never publish by Anant Rangaswami
Two different newspapers, and two contrasting views on how to deal with giving brands unpaid publicity.
This morning, The Times of India carries a story on a survey which has found Bangalore as scoring the lowest among seven cities in motorist behaviour. This is what The Times of India reports:
That the motorists in Bangalore don’t seem to care for pedestrians has been a subject of intense debate for long. The debate has been set to rest by a New Delhi-based green group’s report that statistically shows Bangalore’s deficiency in this category.
What is the name of the ‘New Delhi-based green group’? We’ve tried to find out; we’ve googled it and have come up with a blank.
The Times of India’s reticence to name the company stems from their misplaced principle of not giving ‘brands’ free publicity. They go to great lengths to avoid naming brands, even to the extent of not calling IPL teams by their actual names, but referring to them as Team Kolkata, Team Mumbai, etc.
When they take a position as they have, they stand to lose out on popular culture – and brands play an increasingly significant role in popular culture.
So The Hindu saw no conflict between editorial and commerce when they carried the cartoon on the left on its editorial page.
The cartoon rides on a recent (Ramesh and Suresh) commercial for Cadbury 5 Star chocolate, which is currently dominating TV channels.
For those who haven’t seen that ad, watch it here and below.
Readers who have seen the commercial immediately make the connection — and there is no doubt, that Cadbury is a big gainer.
And what is the gain for The Hindu? Visit the Cadbury 5 Star facebook page and you see that The Hindu cartoon is reproduced.
“Ramesh and Suresh are being an inspiration for the entire nation. Don’t believe it? See this cartoon that appeared in The Hindu yesterday,” says the update.
How many would have seen the cartoon on the Cadbury 5 Star page? Well, they have over 1,000,000 likes and over 15,000 people talking about the page as this is being written.
The Hindu wins big – because they chose to plug a brand. That’s editorial sense – and business sense.