All readers of today's edition of the Hindustan Times would not have seen the same full page ad of DLF IPL on page one.
In the run-up to the third season of the League, media agency Maxus and the Hindustan Times have jointly pulled off a print media innovation that gave fans a full page ad of the IPL team they choose to support.
The choice of the IPL team was done as a response to a text message, sent out yesterday by the Hindustan Times, asking readers to vote for their favourite IPL team. Depending on the team selected, the reader was delivered a copy of HT this morning with their chosen team in the ad on the front page.
The ad itself is almost poster-like - featuring the impression of a key player of the IPL team in a stadium full of supporters. The creative agency for the print campaign is O&M.
HT says that within the first hour of sending out the text messages, almost 10% of the readers responded with their favourite team names. The challenge however was in ensuring that readers received a copy of the newspaper with a team of their choice on the cover.
Salil Sadanandan, business head, South & West, HT Media said, "It was a mammoth task, considering the deal was okayed yesterday. Eight different print ads denoting eight IPL teams were printed across different editions of the Hindustan Times."
He added, "It involved a lot of logistical activity at the ground level - at the printing press and in our network of vendors. Extra man-power was brought in at the press to ensure proper bundling of copies. Vendors were briefed in advance and considering the poor lighting early morning and the nature of the creative, we used symbols to denote different IPL teams on the cover. Our own representatives went over to deliver copies to readers who voted. Vendors took with them enough copies with different teams on their cover."
Ajit Varghese, MD, Maxus said, "This is a clear example of print media innovating and interacting with its readers. Whoever said print cannot be customised!"
He added, "The objective of the campaign was to drive viewership - both in-stadia and on-ground for the IPL, in a manner which allows readers to choose sides. It takes the IPL's original campaign forward - 'Which side are you on?' Conversation and viewership of the tournament will peak only with team loyalties getting stronger. This media innovation allows Hindustan Times readers to do exactly that. Happy readers who got their favorite teams on the newspapers makes the effort of nightmarish logistics worthwhile."