Pause. Review. Reflect on The Observer re-launch

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Veteran journalist M J Akbar launched the Sunday Guardian (‘It’s a Know Brainer‘) for the New Delhi market recently. Times of India is experimenting with Crest Edition (‘A weekend edition, a weeklong read’) in select markets. TOI says: Crest is for the curious mind; it hopes to be every intelligent reader’s guide to politics and policy, art and culture, environment and education, and more. The idea of weekend papers focusing on analysis and views has been around for a while. Vinod Mehta launched India’s first Sunday newspaper, Sunday Observer many years ago. The relaxed, analytical read for the intelligent is a common proposition for weekend newspapers. Communicating such a position, is quite a challenge.

Recently, W+K, London did a wonderful job of relaunching the oldest Sunday paper in the world – The Observer, UK. Prior to the campaign, there was much speculation about the role of a Sunday paper and the future of The Observer. A support group, Stand Up for The Observer was set up online. The teaser print campaign took actual quotes from the website as headlines, including this one from Piers Morgan (former editor of tabloids such as News of the World & Daily Mirror): ‘I have been abused, ridiculed, reviled, insulted, mocked, derided and trivialized by The Observer for 20 years. But that’s what makes it such an important and valuable national institution‘. The TV commercial is a brilliant summation of the brand promise.

See the full, uncut version here.

According to the W+K, London blog: in an age when readers are increasingly at the receiving end of a media tsunami…there is a role for a Sunday paper that offers increased reflection, discursiveness and analysis. I liked the idea of verbal bombardment that we are subjected to every day – almost reducing everything to a meaningless sound byte. Loved it.

P.S: As an aside, check out Charlie Brooker’s spoof on ‘How to report the News‘.

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