May 13, 2018

By Jayant Savant, Creative Leader, Brand Custodian, Problem Solver 

Surprises. Who doesn’t like them? We all are excited when a surprise comes our way. Husbands can vouch for this, as the wives are always craving for surprises.

Brands are no strangers when it comes to surprises. Well, a surprise is another term for innovations. Every time a brand innovates, it surprises the consumers. Consumers are obviously delighted and thus, the brand makes a stronger impact on the psyche and hearts of the consumers.

Innovations help brands to connect better with its consumers. Even brands need to understand that consumers are always looking for new brand experiences on a regular basis. Hence, brands need to change the way they connect with them. This not only fortifies the relationship between the brand and its consumers, but also sets an example for other brands to follow. Instead of using the same formulaic way of ‘speaking’ to them.

Brands lose their sheen because of the way they connect with their consumers; and eventually, the consumers. Usually, a tried and tested formula is deemed safe and that is replicated over and over again. But this actually is suicidal for the brands and their reputation.

In a nation like Nepal, brands have not been that innovative. The tried and tested formula has been the mantra. So when a brand does something that is not a regular way of communication, it automatically stands out. Innovation is the key for brands to sustain and lead the way.


Case in point is a campaign done by Nepal’s leading publication called The Himalayan Times. It connected with its consumers in an absolutely refreshing new way, when it launched its subscription scheme in an innovative manner.


It was a revolutionary surprise that had a deep impact on its consumers. Until now, we saw publications launch their subscription scheme through regular media vehicles. But this time, The Himalayan Times did something really unique and creative. It collaborated with its advertising agency to create a unique Subscription Pack that actually looked like a FMCG product. It was an innovation that was a first of its kind in Nepal. The details of the scheme were inside the pack along with the newspaper.


This is not just any regular subscription, but a revolutionary product innovation. Never before has a newspaper subscription been presented as a tangible ‘product’. This one was an actual pack that was available on the shelves of supermarkets. So when the consumers walked in the supermarkets, they were surprised when they saw a subscription ‘pack’ on the shelves of regular products. Thus, the brand definitely created an indelible impression on the minds of the consumers.

The advertising agency behind this ensured the design of this pack was unique as well. The design, fonts, colours and the entire look were not like a subscription scheme for a newspaper. Instead it looked like a product that one sees in supermarkets. But when one looked at it closely, it never ceased to surprise the consumer.

The uniqueness didn’t just end there. Unlike regular subscription schemes, this wasn’t available on newsstands. But to the surprise of the consumers, these packs were available on the shelves of supermarkets. Just like any FMCG products that consumers are used to picking off the shelves. So when consumers were busy shopping for their household, they were surprised when they came across this pack, which they never expected to be there in the first place. 

Kudos to the brand team at the publication and the agency behind this innovative campaign. It definitely needs a client who is brave and has a creative bent of mind. And also the agency that created such unique packaging that was a conversation starter.

The entire exercise was a massive hit amongst its consumers. The packs were bought like hot cookies off the shelves, and the brand subscription went up by notches.

This is a remarkable case study for the Nepalese market and also for other brands in the region.


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