Wake Up To A Speaking Newspaper!

September 23, 2010
Lakhs of readers across six cities in India, woke up with a surprise, hearing their newspaper speak mysteriously! Yes, it was 21 Sep, when Volkwagen, the car company put a little audio device on the last page of the magazine of the Times of India Newspaper, which would play the recorded advertisement, when the paper is unfolded.

(I know I am a bit late to write about it now, but nevertheless, am dying to write about it in my blog!)

The device
If you ask me, initially I was  surprised... although I live near a noisy main road and it's no wonder to hear some sounds even early in the morning..... but was a bit surprised to hear a man speaking in an unfamiliar voice and accent, and the sound quality was also not too good to impress, as a matter of fact.

Ah! and when I realised this gimmick, I smiled!  Immediately I was transported to the Harry Potter world!  I had been watching all those movies on TV with my kids.  In their University where Harry studies with his friends, they are provided this strange newspaper - the audio visual one.  And I think it gives live coverage!!! I mean, you have this newspaper, in which you see those event happening live, each coloumn, separate news! You know what I mean?! That had always fascinated me.... And here, today, we have it's first little glimpse (although not so impressive).

Talking about its goods and bads - it made many people scared, thinking it was a bomb, or even a ghost! It disturbed people early in the morning.... it amused children........ it must be a pain for that newspaper vendor, who had to hear a hundred such voices when his carton fell upside down! And think of the unncessary pollution it would generate...... huff.... too bad.

But, honestly, my kids enjoyed it every bit.  They had left for school by the time, paper was delivered.  So they came back from school asking for the device, as it had already become the talk of the town in their classrooms! My son devised a way to trouble me with it! He hid the device in the fridge and it would speak each time, when I would open the fridge!!! Needless to say I was irritated, searching for it desparately in the compartments of fridge!  But it was sweet !

What do you say?  Did you also get this with your paper? You must have heard about it? Let me know, what did you do? how were you surprised or shocked or amused?!



NeoTheHack said...

actually the future of newspaper is not this.. but it has already been there.. apple came out with podcasts..which the ipod can play. now..almost every newsroom, newsppaers and even govt releases come as podcasts.. so the future.. is already here

Vee... said...

Ah, change in the look and feel! Looks like u r going fwd with girly pink shades for your blog. :P
i didn't know about this one until I read your post. See, I'm kept informed in a better way by reading your blog from my reader :D Innovative way to advertise! The first hand experience must have been quite surprising!

magiceye said...

:) got me wondering for awhile. thought it was the radio but then....

Sharmila Ganguly said...

Six thirty am, before my first cuppa tea, a shrieky voice wouldn't shut up next to me. It emanated from my bed, in the folds of my Razai. I was extremely upset with one of my favorite car manufacturers. I spilt my tea and took a full minute to shut up this gizmo. To my horror I found out today morning that my kid had retreived it from the kabadi and the horror talking plastic advertisement now lies in my drawing room :(

Girish said...

I was amused & surprised that they actually put so much money for an ad!
But its Volks, so its gotta be the best!
I couldn't make the damn thing to stop talking & U know what I did with it :)

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...


You are well informed, but I was talking about the comfort of a paper newspaper without the need to read it!


Yeah, changed the template! How is it?

I was not really surprised or shocked or upset, I was fully awake and waiting for the paper, so I started to think of Harry Potter movie!

u should read the news article about it (next day)! it was funny!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...


yeah it sounded like the good old radio! or rather a transistor, as it was called then.


Hey welcome! and LOL for what u wrote! cudn't help laughing. Yup kids loved it! and u spilt ur tea :(


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...


what did u do?! crushed it?! U just had to turn it upside down, kind of covered it. poor thing.... the device!

yup so much money it would be,for a car, for a advt, sad, all the pastic gone in dumpyard again.

But, it was fun!


Girish said...

No, I didn't crush it!!
My little cousin did :D hehe
I tried covering it, kept it under other papers, but it still kept on talking..!
So, I gave it to my cousin who broke it, while playing with it :)

Vyankatesh said...

I hadn't heard about this.

But VW seems to be spending a lot of money on advertisements.

I think the scare factor, like you mentioned, would have spoiled their image.

Raksha Bhat said...

My Mom woke me up with it and my engineer bro is up to a funny research on the device:P..it is lying in parts now!:)

Vee... said...

i like this template better. it looks great! definitely a welcome change :D

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