I am angry.
And it’s not just one thing. And I am not angry just for the sake of it. Let me start with newspapers. Yesterday, the Hindustan Times (HT) carried a car pasted on the front page. It was, I assume, a way to get attention – because while you wanted the news, you got a car. When I turned to Page 2, the Page 1 was visible without the car. I pick up the newspaper in the morning to read news – not to see your antics. The front page has sanctity (or, apparently, not). Many times, I have received the HT with a half front page (which is an advertisement, of course)
Bad design, at its best.
What I have to do is to ‘remove’ the 1 and 1/2 page away to be able to read the newspaper properly. Which means, I have to remove the sports page, which is usually the last. There is a logic to the design of the newspaper (you have to know there is logic to everything – do you know how people read newspapers?), and if you (Mr. Newspaper), really want to desecrate your front page – which, to my mind is essential to your being – you will need to find other ways. I’d love HT to do a survey – not of readership – but how their subscribers read the newspapers. Of the many ’00,000 subscribers that they have in Mumbai – trying to upstage ToI; and I am about to unsubscribe.
HT is the new ToI. In their attempt to displace the leader they are following the erstwhile leader.
It is not limited to newspapers.
Take Star Movies (HD) or Star World (HD).
Well known fact that Star Movies HD has shorter ad breaks – apparently it is attributed to the fact that not many ads are HD. I do not know this for a fact, but let’s go with this. So what does Star Movies do? They *have* to ruin my movie experience with an opaque banner that distracts me, hides essential viewing through wrong placement; and often – covers key elements of the film that I am watching. Dexter’s victim’s blood has to spill over or something like that.
There should be a sanctity of purpose.
I am not against advertising. In fact, I encourage it. I understand and recognise the need for revenue. But we will all have to wonder the value of advertising of we are cannibalising our essence. “I provide News. I show Films.” As a user, my experience has been tarnished by your revenue concerns. Instead of bringing me closer, you have distanced me.
If the purpose of my money is not what you are willing to offer, just say so, I’ll unsubscribe.