Conceptualised by Contract Advertising, the campaign takes the save the planet cue to suggest that it is preferable to read news on the web
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 29, 2012
Firstpost.com, a digital newspaper from the Network18 stable, which is a staunch advocate of ‘participation’ accompanying the breaking news process, has debuted a television commercial aimed at changing the way the world perceives news, or rather newspapers. The TVC braces the viewer to the reality that newspapers and the planet are under siege. But there is a new option for a new age: Firstpost.com. Read today’s news today, not a day later.
While habits suggest people are moving to the Internet more often to seek news, the perception of reading news is still dominated by the morning newspaper, which does provide news, but effectively a day late.
At the concept stage, what Firstpost set out to achieve was simply to reach out to a larger audience. In the one year of its existence, digital natives had already taken a liking to this newsroom on the web and spurred the level of participation by actively engaging with Firstpost on a regular basis. However, the challenge was to take Firstpost to Internet users who still thought of the morning newspaper whenever they thought of news. The objective was to get people turn to Firstpost.com for their dose of news and opinion on the web or any mobile medium for that matter.
On Firstpost’s commitment to digital journalism, Durga Raghunath, VP - Products and Executive News Producer at Firstpost, said, “News has moved beyond a static newspaper. The idea was to make readers entirely rethink their view of news as-it-happens. Therefore the lines around reading news a day late. Contract, of course, has taken this spirit and made a stunning ad, whose conceit is adorable.”
While Firstpost.com has its dedicated following, the task was to migrate newspaper readers to Firstpost, explained Ravi Deshpande, Chief Creative Officer, Contract Advertising. Mapping out the approach, he said, “We were pretty sure that once they were there, the product itself would hook them. After all, Firstpost is a truly international news product from India that is not an offshoot of a traditional newspaper attempting to replicate itself online.”“Right from the word go, it has been designed to cater to the needs of people on the move, who use tablets, smartphones and laptops. Thus, while it has the benefits of conventional news reporting in terms of great writing, a range of views, deep analysis and so on, it has the native-to-digital advantages of serving up news as it happens, as well as being truly participative and interactive. It enables a dialogue, not a monologue,” Deshpande elaborated. “Challenging newspapers would have to be done at a poetic level. Thus, the direction we’ve taken in the film is to display the terrible loss of trees that the planet goes through. We wanted to cue how people could read news fast on Firstpost.com without hurting the planet. While personally I feel reading a newspaper in the morning is rather romantic, the shift to digital is inevitable. The sooner we all do it, the better it is for our planet,” said Deshpande.
On the execution aspects, he added, “We wanted the execution of the film to serve up total honesty, total reality… that’s why we showed nothing fictional when it came to the process of deforestation, whereby trees get cut, transformed into pulp and ultimately into newspapers that serve up news that's already a day old. The music we chose was an authentic country/folk song that helped us present irony in an entertaining way; it kept the drama going till the commercial makes its statement about exhorting you to move to the digital platform.”
Credits: Agency: Contract
Chief Creative Officer: Ravi Deshpande Creative Director: Ravi Deshpande Copywriter: Ravi Deshpande & Sahar Art Director: Ravi Deshpande & Salil Sojwal Account Management: Arjun Sengupta, Anish and Namrata Production House: Day Dreamers Director: Bosco Producer: Deepti & Kautul Agency producer: Ketaki Guhagarkar