The Magic of Print, a glossy coffee-table book that takes readers on a journey through some of the world's finest print advertisements, was unveiled at the Taj Land's End hotel in Bandra on Friday, by some of the advertising industry's best-known faces.
The glossy, hardbound book, presented by the Hindustan Times and designed to be a collector's item and industry reference source, was launched amidst an insightful panel discussion featuring Alyque Padamsee, ad filmmaker; Josy Paul, national creative director and chairman of agency BBDO India; Vikram Sakhuja, Global CEO (South Asia) of Maxus; and Shashi Sinha, CEO of agency Lodestar UM.
The panel debated whether print is a dying medium, how print compares with the digital format, and what constitutes good innovation in print.
Hindustan Times deputy managing editor Sitaraman Shankar moderated the discussion.
"The magic of print is that it has sudden impact and hits you in just a couple of seconds, while a television ad will take 30 seconds to digest," said Paul.
For Padamsee, the magic of this medium lies in its permanence. "Print is preserved for posterity. Television vanishes," he said. "This makes [print] more believable as a medium as well."
According to Sinha, the print medium is still winning against the digital in India. "Here, newspapers are cheap and therefore easily accessible by the masses," he said. "Also, there are infrastructural issues with the digital medium in this country; our internet speeds are slow, and ads take very long to load."
The way for print to stay strong is to have integrated campaigns, said Sakhuja. "Instead of measuring the success of advertising in each medium in isolation, we should have a unified unit that acknowledges that television is pan-India, and, therefore, it is unfair to compare its ratings with print that may be in select locations. There should be one unit that measures the campaign's success as a whole."
The coffee-table book showcases inspired advertising from brands such as Fevicol, Lifebuoy, Tata Nano and Axe deodorants, among others, classified under 'tips' for making a good print ad, with criteria such as headlines, locations, humour and emotion.
"This book commends and encourages creativity and we hope it serves as aspirational for future generations of ad-makers," said HT Media CEO Rajeev Verma.