Times Group and Nestle launch ‘Power of Print’ initiative

Times Group and Nestle launch ‘Power of Print’ initiative
Winner of ‘Power of Print’ award JWT’s ‘Class Photo’. Photo Times Group

Print has long been the most powerful medium of advertising carrying some of the most impactful and compelling campaigns across nations. These campaigns, in turn, have been instrumental in changing consumer behaviour and brand perception. Although digital media is making significant changes to how brands are communicating, print still has a vital role to play in the entire scheme of things. The fact that newspapers reach close to 250 million Indian readers every day is a compelling reason to believe that print still delivers.

In order to bring out the best of print creativity in the country and make it work for a company or brand, the Times Group in association with Nestle India launched the ‘Power of Print’ initiative—a competition where creative teams across communication agencies jostled for the top spot at ‘Power of Print’ award at the Kyoorius Creative Awards (KCA), held on 2 June 2017 in Mumbai. Although there have been interesting print campaigns globally, there is still much room for improvisation in India. The idea was to make print sexy and aspirational again and in the process, bring out its true potential.

‘Power of Print’ is an intellectual property that will be owned by the Times Group. The awards are part of a larger initiative to drive creativity in print and engage with the marketing and creative fraternity. Nestle India as the partner brand for the first year promoted a noble cause—#EducateTheGirlChild. The objective of the campaign is ‘to ensure that more girls go to school’—driving action toward getting girls to school by increaseing the number of donations and talkability about the subject.

The competition received 823 entries from more than 400 agencies. The entries were judged by a jury comprising Bobby Pawar, Raj Kamble, Arun Iyer, Senthil Kumar, Kainaz Karmakar, Swati Bhattacharya, Shrijeet Mishra and Chandrasekhar Radhakrishnan. The contest was open to all communication agencies—creative, media, digital and PR.

The winner of the ‘Power of Print’ was marketing communications agency J Walter Thompson with its entry depicting how educating the girl child could help educate the whole family. The campaign, titled ‘Class Photo,’ communicated that since girls are teachers in many ways, if you educate one, the knowledge gets passed on to everyone. A change in the mindset of parents and stakeholders will make them understand the merits of educating the girl child.

The first runner-up was FCB Interface with its entry, ‘If only she had gone to school,’ highlighting how so many women have been denied the opportunity of education in their childhood, and due to which they have ended up taking odd jobs as sweepers and house helps today. FCB’s series of ads have middle-aged woman posing in a school uniform. The message tries to convey tells that if this middle-aged woman, who is a house help, would have received education as a child, she wouldn’t have been posing in this ad for a few hundred rupees. Education opens a world of possibilities, and the campaign urges people to ensure that no girl child grows up regretting the lack of opportunity to study.

The second runner-up was Havas Worldwide with its hard-hitting print ad showing a young boy taking inspiration from a woman who made a mark for herself and made India proud due to her education. The entry was titled ‘Dream.’

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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