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We need to go back to the basics with print advertising: Asheesh Sabarwal

01-July-2015
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We need to go back to the basics with print advertising: Asheesh Sabarwal

exchange4media Group is gearing up for the second edition of the INK Awards, which celebrates creativity in newspaper advertising and recognises the talent behind it. The idea behind INK is to demonstrate the power of print in reaching out and touching the consumer. The awards acknowledge the fact that newspaper advertising is the most demanding and the most difficult exercise because it needs the right implementation of the right idea on a medium that might not be as interactive as digital or as attention-grabbing as television.

We speak to Asheesh Sabarwal, VP (Marketing) of Pearson India, (who is also on the INK Awards jury) to get his opinion on challenges facing print industry today.

What are the challenges faced in creating and strategizing of advertising campaigns in print today in India? 

While print media is dominant in India, comparisons are made with alternate media like digital. Personalization is a strong point of digital and it is one thing that marketers take into account. This is a challenge when it comes to print. It is difficult to make a ‘one-on-one’ connection. Another thing is that segmentation is difficult. Even though some segmentation is possible through magazines that cater to niche categories print is more of painting with a brush unlike digital, which is a segment of one.

Different mediums have different forms of storytelling. The ability to deliver impact needs to be worked on. We are living in a world of decreasing attention span. Time spent reading a copy is limited so the marketer is not sure if people are actually reading the ad. The visual, by itself, does not ensure that marketers get eyeballs.

What are the essential ingredients needed today for a print campaign to break through the clutter and make a brand stand out from the rest?

Print still has strength. One can look at adding new ingredients to print ads. The first thing is local language print publication, which is a great medium. Regional content is still limited on digital and one can do a great job with it on print. Of late, people are experimenting a lot with print byadding sensory capabilities, etc. QR codes also make digital and print work together.

Beyond this, it is about going back to the basics—great copy is a great way of building a brand.

What are some of the best print campaigns in the past year in your view?

It has become increasingly difficult to find eye-popping ads though there is good work being done all around. One example is a Johnson & Johnson campaign, where the newspaper was infused with the smell of baby powder. Then there is the second category of ads like the one for Tata Zest, which had an innovative copy. Indigo ads also stand out as they are often tongue in cheek and always witty. Amul ads are another example since everyone likes topical stuff and they are very quick to talk about anything that happens.

Where do you see the future moving towards for print campaigns in terms of trends in India?

It is got a bright future. There are competing mediums but print has inherent strengths that cannot be overlooked. With increasing readership and literacy rates increasing and with the economy getting better, print has a great future.

( Shashi Sinha, CEO, India of IPG Mediabrands is the Jury Chairperson for INK 2015. Other confirmed Jury members are Asheesh Sabarwal, VP (Marketing) of Pearson India; Kartik Jain, EVP & Head Marketing, HDFC Bank; Manohar Bhat, Vice President-Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India; Pradeep Dwivedi, Chief Corporate Sales & Marketing Officer, Dainik Bhaskar Group; Soma Ghosh, Vice President Marketing - India and South Asia, Castrol, Vasantha V Kumar, India South Asia Brand & Communications Leader, IBM India and Veetika Deoras, Head (Brand Marketing, Digital Vertical and Corporate Communication) of Tata Capital.

The last date of sending entries is extended to July, 5, 2015.

To send your nominations click here - http://www.exchange4media.com/ink2015/registration.aspx 

For queries – please visit -  http://www.exchange4media.com/ink2015/#instructions.)

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