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Taproot Dentsu convinces 90-year-old Indian daily to go in for a shifting masthead

A nine decade old Indian broadsheet The Free Press Journal will be changing its masthead on a regular basis to draw attention to significant issues facing the country. The idea has been conceived of by Taproot Dentsu. The first of these editions was called The Free Sports Journal to commemorate India’s National Sports Day. It featured content from veteran Indian journalists covering the beat as well as national and state ministers in charge of sport.

Free Press Journal director Abhishek Karnani said: “Print has the potential to be an innovative and exciting medium. We, as a publication, are always on the lookout for bold, progressive, cutting-edge innovations and ideas that prove that statement to be true. And that allows us to stay relevant to our new-age audience.

“The Free Press Journal has constantly addressed social issues, through its fair and fearless reportage. But this idea allowed us to go beyond, to champion change. By changing our masthead to reflect the issue, we are reflecting upon and dedicating two full pages to amplify it.

“We will be taking this idea forward through the year, shining the spotlight on multiple issues – like access to education, healthcare, safety, etc., on relevant national and international days.”

Taproot Dentsu chief creative officer and co-founder Santosh Padhi said: “A simple yet brave idea is what we had. One that was born out of the name of the newspaper itself – Free Press. We live in an era where less is more. I’m delighted that this new-age approach was liked the minute it was presented. And even more delighted that this won’t be a one-off – we’ll be running this campaign through the year, highlighting national issues on relevant days.”

Through the last decade, The Free Press Journal was a preferred venue for so-called “December advertising” – ads that were released exclusively to meet the awards deadline, evoking sarcastic comparisons to the Lurzer’s International Archive by creative directors in India.

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