Times of India works to “sex it up” to strengthen relationship with advertisers




In celebrating 175 years of publication, The Times of India does not indicate any signs of slowing. As the country’s future shows significant growth around them, the organisation looks to revolutionise the advertising world.

“To us, building the Times of India brand is the holy grail,” said Ravi Dhariwal, president of INMA World and CEO of The Times.

Circulation at the newspaper is up to 4.6 million copies and the brand is bigger it has been in the past.

India’s unique culture encourages people to work together, Dhariwal said. He used several Times of India commercial advertisements as examples, one of which describing an India whose history is turning a page into an era where “it’s time to fly.”

This idea is not only important to the development of The Times of India’s company, but to the country itself.

“The Times of India ... it is totally synonymous with India,” he said.

The goal is to create waves in advertising strategy that will reverberate internationally.

Arunabh Das Sharmas, president of The Times of India, discusses the publication’s approach to innovation and its search for creative developments in advertisement that will allow the company to capture the voice of the people.

He recognises that innovation helps to increase margins, but there is a process to its development: “Broadly speaking, innovations do not happen by chance,” Das Sharma said.

The Times of India implemented new ad features, including attaching commercial samples and fold-out ads to the newspaper. Innovations like these, Das Sharma said, draw consumers to the featured product, which builds loyalty between publications and advertisers.

“I’d say we probably convert 80 to 90% of our ‘what ifs’ into real action,” Das Sharma said, discussing the Times of India’s creative ad ventures.

India, as a land of entrepreneurs high on innovation, provides the perfect setting to continue the Times of India’s focus on creative and effective ad campaigns, according to Shrijeet Mishra, chief operating officer of the news media company.

“Making the impossible possible is the motto of this team,” Mishra said.

By partnering with entrepreneurs and first-time advertisers with its innovative advertising method called “brand capital,” the company’s marketing plan focuses on making print attractive — a method that Das Sharma believes is necessary for the future of the publication: 

“If we ourselves aren’t able to sex it up, it’s very hard for us to go and demand the sort of premiums and rates that we need from advertisers.”

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