I read The Times of India every morning and have done so for years.
I’m extremely comfortable with the layout, the navigation.
I know what comes where.
And on Wednesday, I’m kind of jolted when I see a story on an ad campaign in the Times Nation pages. Advertising stories do not appear here, my memory of cumulative reading of the newspaper tells me.
I stop. The headline says "Tiger ad a roaring success" and the sub head says that the campaign is "shaking up the common man".
And I think, wow, that’s one hell of a coup for Aircel and for Dentsu.
And I look at the photograph. Sharp, perfect image of a hoarding – but the Aircel logo is blurred completely. That’s odd. The rest of the image is brilliantly sharp.
And I get a little uneasy.
And I go on to read the article which talks of the campaign in great detail, including excerpts of an interview with Ravi Singh of WWF.
No mention of Aircel, except in a reference that speaks of WWF’s partner in this communication (my words, not Times of India’s), a 'telecom company'.
No mention of Dentsu, the creators of the successful campaign.
Now I’m livid. The blurred logo is no accident, I start thinking. It’s photoshopped. No point having a sharp logo if you’re going to blur the name of Aircel in the article as well, I guess.
And I say to myself that I’m being my usual cynical self; perhaps the photographer couldn’t hang around opposite the hoarding till there was no traffic.
And I’m back to cynical when I ask a colleague to find a high-res image on the internet. He finds one in about three minutes.
And I’m livid when I go past the Times of India building on DN road and I see a bus shelter directly opposite the Old Lady of Bori Bunder and figure out a two-bit photographer could have got a hundred perfect shots in an hour.
That’s a shame.
Sorry, Aircel and Dentsu. This should not have happened.