Sunday, July 11, 2010

A call for promoting ‘Books’ on TV


Electronic media (TV, Radio, Internet) has been immensely popular in the advertising world specifically in the last two decades. While internet has been tightening its grip more and more day after day, Radio with so many private channels has added numerous users to its list, which has been contributed by the increasing use of mobile phones with FM Radio facility. Noteworthy to say that TV has proved itself to be the most entertaining source of media, and so much so that, it has virtually become one of the bare minimum necessities of people.

Now-a-days we find just about everything being advertised on TV. Advertisers use this form of media to promote almost everything starting from toothpastes to air-conditioners. What contributes more to the choice of the advertisers is that people can access hundreds of channels on the audio-visual medium. And every channel has its own target audience. For example, channel 'Ashtha' caters to spiritual, religious people or the senior citizens, whereas Star Plus has found its base in the lives of housewives. Because of this, the advertisers don't have to take much stress on deciding where to go and how to reach the target audience. They definitely get one or the other channel or channels to promote their products in a total effective manner.
However, the question that has made me scratch my head is that why they don't promote books on TV. This so happened that once I saw Chetan Bhagat's book '2 States' on a stall. I recalled one of my friends who is a big fan of the author. I called up her and said, "Hey, you know Chetan Bhagat's fourth book is on the stalls." She said, "I have already read it. I got the book two months back." It was such an embarrassing moment for me. After eight months of that incident, I was standing on a railway station with another friend when she found a boy reading the same book. She said, "Wow, people are still reading this book."

I realized that books are not properly promoted and we do not get to know about them at the right time. Do we still believe in the 'word of mouth' way publicity for books? Though we know that word of mouth reaches thousands of miles, it takes so much of time in this jet age. If they say, books are the best friends, why this friend takes such a long time to reach to people. What about a book we might love to read or need to read, but none of our friends knew about that. Will we never come to know about it? Thanks to the book stall owners who allow us to browse through the books. But that's not enough, not at all enough!

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