The post-recession period, from 2009-end onwards, has seen quite a few innovations in advertising in leading English newspapers in the country. While The Times of India had experimented with roadblocks and cut-out concepts to grab consumer eyeballs, 3D ads in newspapers have been also increasingly making their way. Not to be left behind, Hindi dailies, too, have been taking the 3D route to differentiate their products for advertisers. Given the huge investments that 3D ads in newspapers require and the not-so-easily-feasible execution of this concept on ground, how beneficial are these innovations? exchange4media finds out.
It was in June this year that afternoon newspaper Mid-Day had come up with special editions with 3D ads, and thereon the concept caught on among newspapers. Later on, Hindi newspapers like Rajasthan Patrika and Dainik Bhaskar, too, came up with 3D innovations in some places.
Speaking on the concept of 3D ads in print, Pratap Bose, CEO, Mudra Max, commented, “When it happened for the first time (Mid-Day for UTV), it does generate reader curiosity. Post that, given the huge investments required and lack of first time appeal, it does not guarantee enough eyeballs.”
According to Vikas Madhwar, Media Director, Lintas Media Group, 3D ads did not work very well because it was difficult to demonstrate the 3D effects in print. He noted, “The Kajaria ad had used 3D technique, but didn’t get a good response. Hence, it depends on product to product. If one can demonstrate the message well, then it can work, else it will not.”
RoI – Return on Innovation
The question arises whether the publishers and advertisers get better RoI through these innovations. Sujata Pawar, GM, Lodestar UM, does not want to evaluate these innovations on the basis of RoI. She remarked, “Given that these cost considerable investment, it would be unwise to evaluate on the basis of RoI.”
She further said, “If the creative thought elaborates the product insight, this brings a new dimension to print. The innovation is then evaluated on other parameters.”
Meanwhile, Bose is circumspect about the RoI on 3D ads in print. He felt that big spending and limited circulation hindered RoI on innovations like 3D.
On similar lines, Madhwar, too, does not seem too optimistic. He remarked, “It depends on the product, but in my opinion, in print it’s difficult to get better RoI. Most of the people don’t understand the difference between a normal ad and 3D ads.”
Innovations always attract, but repetition of innovations can easily dull the curiosity among the consumers. Same could happen in the case of 3D ads in newspapers if the concept is not re-invented with time. According to Mudra Max’s Bose, “Lack of first time appeal impinges on the differential quotient. Noticeability can be guaranteed only if the innovation is engrained in the basic brand promise.”
Lintas Media Group’s Madhwar remarked that for the first time people preferred to explore the 3D ads, but he was sceptical about whether the same excitement would continue in subsequent times.
“Consumers’ reaction is normally subject to time availability and interest. But it would lose its novelty with consumers once it becomes repetitive across brands,” pointed out Pawar of Lodestar UM.
So, how can these innovations be successful and what measure can be taken to sustain these innovations in the market with better results? According to Bose, “One can’t have 3D just to generate consumer curiosity. The experience with 3D movies has amply demonstrated (‘Avatar’ versus ‘Clash of the Titans’) that it is the appeal of the content as opposed to the appeal of the format that determines success.”
He added, “The brand fit and the scalability/ ingenuity of the innovation are the two driving force towards making an innovation really worth it.”
Meanwhile, Pawar believed that repetition of these ads would make sense only if the creative thought really lent itself to the innovation beautifully or else it would be wise to devise a new way to differentiate ones advertising and make it more impactful.
Madhwar concluded, “The market is still immature to understand the concept of 3D. We first need to educate them about 3D and then we will see a lot of difference.”