Page 3 has become an integral part of a newspaper today, with its glamour quotient. Besides the numerous photographs, the page has also become a vehicle for paid features, garnering additional revenues for the publication.
The success of these paid features has prompted publications to further tap the medium. Thus, we have the Medianet from The Times of India. These features are placed in such a way that they neither represent as paid content nor advertisements. There is a different wing altogether to put these entire ads in place.
For The Times of India, these sections are distinct from paid advertisements, advertorials and special supplements and are highlighted as sponsored features. These features include endorsements of movies, fashion & lifestyle products, hotels & restaurants and so on.
Gauging the success of the promotional feature trend, now Hindustan Times has come up with an initiative called ‘Brand Promotions’. This project has been designed as an effective media tool to promote and build brands in an impactful way. The objective is to promote the brand and deliver the brand message in a relevant environment that delivers impact and credibility.
Hindustan Times’ supplement HT City confirms the initiative with a message that accompanies such features that states: “We would like to inform our readers that some of the coverage of events that appear on the party page is paid for by the concerned brands. We would like to emphasise that no sponsored content does or shall appear in any part of HT without it being declared as such to our valued readers.”
With the top two English dailies in the country initiating paid feature content, it remains to be seen whether other dailies, be it English or regional, follow suit. This also definitely gives brands an additional medium to get their message across.