(This article was first published on The TBBE Blog.)

Late last week, in a meeting with one of our accounts – Five Town Club, we had a discussion about an ad they wanted to release today, i.e. on the 15th of August. FTC is a fitness club, and they wanted to take out an Independence Day ad that talked about something like ‘freedom from health issues’.

We were fine with working on an ad that revolved around this concept, but we didn’t like the idea of releasing the ad on the 15th. This was because, as is usually the case, our newspapers turn into ad catalogues on major public holidays. Be it political holidays or religious holidays, our newspapers are filled to the brim with ads. And most of them are on the same theme, which in this case is freedom from something or the other.

This results in a huge clutter of ads, and one of the basic tenets of advertising is to avoid clutters. When you’re part of a crowd, you’ll get what the crowd gets. You don’t get the attention you’re paying for, you don’t stand out. And what good is an ad if it’s not given the chance to be noticed?

Today, the Times of India edition is carrying 39 ads, 17 of which are talking about freedom and Independence Day. These figures are 29 and 14 for Ahmedabad Times, and 25 and 12 in Ahmedabad Mirror. (The ads in the classified display sections haven’t even been counted.)

We expected this, which is why we recommended FTC to release their ad on the 14th of August. This is the full page ad we conceptualized and designed for them, which carried the Independence Day theme, but was released a day earlier to beat their competition and avoid the clutter.

FTC Ad - Ahmedabad Mirror

And for the record, the 14th August edition of Ahmedabad Mirror had only 14 ads.