Amid reports of decline in readership and some publications shutting shop in India, comes a ray of hope in the form of quantum of advertisements increasing on the print side in the last few months. As per industry experts, print and digital media are set to gain at television’s expense in the third quarter in terms of advertising expenditure (Q3 AdEx: Print and digital to gain at television's expense).
Print media has seen a slew of innovations undertaken by various brands as they seek to create greater engagement with consumers. Numerous occasion-specific innovations have also been seen in recent times – be it introducing fragrant newspaper editions on Ganesh Chaturthi or coffee scented paper to promote a coffee brand, or opting for green ink on World Environment Day.
While such ad innovations in print have caught the eye of the readers, there remains ambiguity in the return on investments for the brands and companies that have undertaken such innovations, besides the impact on the newspapers’ readership and circulation figures.
Speaking to exchange4media, Rahul Kansal, Executive President, The Times of India explained, “Innovation are of two levels – the first is constantly looking out to innovate for the sake of improvement. It is genuine innovation, which ends up meeting readers’ needs. It also gives a chance to experiment and get closer to the readers. Second is when someone wants to innovate for a limited time period for their own sake.”
He also pointed out that while some innovations are good for the organisation, they are very expensive and should be undertaken only if they are relevant.
On the other hand, there are print players who believe that such ad innovations have led to increase in circulation figures, and if done on regular intervals, could have a positive impact on readership as well.
Pradeep Dwivedi, Chief Corporate Sales & Marketing Officer, DB Corp said, “These are important medium of communicating and it give incremental value to the brand. If it’s done for our own novelty, then it raises conscious for the readers and active reader connect.”
When asked whether these innovations are merely eye-catching activities, Dwivedi replied in the negative and added, “Obviously, with all these innovations it’s more of an engagement with the readers rather than an eye-catching activity. We believe in a series of innovations on a sustained basis and not do it in short bursts in order to build relationship with readers in the long term.”
When asked what ROI the publications get post these innovations, replied, “We get indirect impact on ad sales as it puts us in the limelight in the advertisers’ view and also has a slight impact on readership and direct impact on circulation figures.” He further said that along with engaging the readers, there is also need to make a social commitment.
DB Corp is coming up with a campaign in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, called ‘Tilka Ungli’, which has been conceptualised keeping in mind the forthcoming elections and also encourage people to come out and exercise their right to vote.
Not just national dailies, but regional dailies too are taking to such innovations extensively, especially during special occasions such as Diwali, Onam and so on. The idea behind the innovation is to touch the emotional chord of the readers.
Sharing his point of view, Ajit Nair, Vice President and Business Head, Lokmat said, “For an advertiser, regular intelligent innovations certainly help in getting more visibility for the brand/ product. For the reader, it is a welcome change, while for the media house, it is an opportunity to acquire newer readers.”
All the parties stand to gain monetary benefits as well as market share, he concluded.