Spikes Asia

News Beyond Views

DENTSU CREATIVE, Gurgaon / THE INDIAN EXPRESS / 2023

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Overview

Background

In India, while 1/6th of our day goes into reading news, one of the leading national dailies accounted for 80% of that time being spent on only trending stories. But today’s trending news is clickbait-y as journalism is in a dilemma between what pays the bills and what creates an impact. Readers were not getting to see the news that mattered - leaving half of the brand's website undiscovered by a significant chunk of Indian internet newsreaders. In other words, while all was being reported, not all was known by the intended audience.

The Indian Express, with an aim to restore ethical journalism and strike the balance between ethics and economics, permanently changed the way news is consumed online with News Beyond Views.

Idea

The clickbait-y and trending news make it to the front page and hence get views, but the more impactful ones that matter lurk in the dark. That’s because economics is driving the business of journalism. And ethics take a backseat. News Beyond Views brings back the ethics of journalism to the forefront without negating the economics.

Through an ingenious adaptation of an HTML code, the existing user interface and experience were altered. It gave users the power to select and drag any trending news to discover another story of significance that was buried deep in the app and website.

With this, The Indian Express was able to deliver two news stories by pushing one article and resolved the dilemma of hunger for clicks between what pays the bills and what creates an impact.

Strategy

News Beyond Views intended to reach individuals aged between 18-55 who had access to the internet and were engaging in reading news articles online, daily. Along with that, it was intended to also reach the 7-7.5 million readers frequenting The Indian Express website across mediums.

Keeping the consumer profile and habits in mind, the devised strategy utilised the popularity of trending stories on the platform. With an ingenious adaptation of an HTML code, a lesser-viewed news article that was embedded under a trending news article appeared with a quick select and drag. This helped change the existing user interface and experience to strike a balance between the ethics and the economics of journalism.

Execution

News Beyond Views by The Indian Express permanently changed the way news is consumed online. To help achieve the purpose, the ingenious adaptation of an HTML code at the backend created a new interface for the trending and undiscovered news articles. The entire development and deployment of the code on The Indian Express website was done in 3-4 days and the campaign ran for a period of 3 months – April’22 to June’22.

With an aim to make it immersive and experiential, the internet was blasted with assets that the intended audience encountered. On highlighting the text on interactive banners and emailers, the readers were redirected to The Indian Express website/app, wherein on highlighting any trending news, they were served with a more impactful story.

This was done across all the trending stories on the app and the website. With this, The Indian Express was able to deliver two pieces of news and resolve the dilemma of hunger for clicks between what pays the bills and what creates an impact.

Initially serving as an awareness tool to discover undiscovered news, it became a brand IP for the brand – making it extendable for GDN, roadblock and sustenance media campaigns.

Outcome

News Beyond Views by The Indian Express proved to be a game-changer when it came to measuring its impact. Within just 10 days of going LIVE with the activation, the reading time on the brand website went up by 242.6% and garnered nearly 54M impressions and 48M reach.

A significant change in mobile users’ behaviour was noticed as the readability of undiscovered stories increased and the open rate of our emailer campaign also went up.

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