Happened to go to a contemporary dance performance by The Scottish Dance Theatre which was presented by The Hindu, the most popular newspaper in Chennai. While waiting for the programme to start, we were shown a few video advertisements, repeated more than once, making mockery of The Times Of India readers.

The ad starts with a few questions asked to the readers such as:
– What does ATM stand for?
– Who is the author of Harry Potter?
– What sport did Dhyan Chand play in?

The audience reply with incorrect answers or blank responses.

Then they are asked bollywood questions such as:
– Which Bollywood heroine is associated with size 0?
– What is Hrithik Roshan’s pet name?

The audience answer correctly!

The ad ends with the readers being asked, which newspaper do you read, and they say ‘Times of India’,

Then the ad says ‘Move ahead of the Times’ and then a clipping of ‘The Hindu’ is shown.

How Negative!!!

Being a die hard fan of The Hindu and a reader of this paper of over 30 years, I felt like the value of the awesome newspaper I have been proud of all these years was just brought down.
I strongly believe in the fact that if you read The Hindu every day your knowledge level goes up amazingly.

The ad agency who came up with this idea forgot the fact that positive information (Reading The Hindu increases your knowledge levels) can be communicated with a wow factor – without having to stoop down to such low levels.

Here are my questions to the senior management in The Hindu?
1. Why is The Hindu not as popular in North India as it is in South India?
2. Why has the readership level increase not been anywhere near the level of increase in the population of India?
Answer: The Hindu has always focused on producing high quality content. It is time The Hindu also focuses on coming with high quality marketing using a high quality advertising team.

In other words, fire this ad agency and hire a new one that knows the real values of high quality that The Hindu stands for, which can be represented positively using creative advertising.

Update: Just found this ad on YouTube. Embedding it here so you can see what I saw.