Guest Column: Much more possible in print ads

Buchanan Group India’s Sanjeev Singhai shares many print media innovation ideas that can help brands go several notches higher in uniqueness

e4m by Sanjeev Singhai
Updated: Aug 2, 2012 7:49 PM
Guest Column:  Much more possible in print ads

Feeling of substance, ability to stimulate the senses and that there is a thing in hands which is convenient to keep, carry and read, has always attracted readers to remain hooked on to their preferred newspapers. Unlike any other medium, newspapers offer deep reading, which makes it unique and also that newspaper don’t die easily (like any other product). No wonder, changing newspaper reading habit is considered to be one of the toughest jobs. Marketer and advertisers always drove their brands on this strength of the newspapers and newspaper advertising always played a very important role in their media plans.

But with fragmented media and increasing clutter in space of advertising options and on account of ‘uniqueness’, advertisers always hunt for ideas that can make their brand stand taller in the crowd of advertisements and get noticed by the consumers to be able to engage them. On the other hand, realising the potential of increased ad revenue, print media owners too have been open to explore the media innovation ideas with the advertisers.

In the past few years, newspapers have taken the experimental route to try out various ideas with advertisers, some of which got very popular and some, like every experiment, fizzled out. In India, following are few print media innovation ideas that have repeatedly been used by the advertisers to promote their brands:

1. Front Page Jacket – change the front page of the newspaper to advertisement.
2. Front Page Innovations - insert advertisement copy or design in front page editorial content.
3. Island advertising
4. Insert advertisement booklet
5. Insert glazed paper or extra pages advertisement
6. Sample product by sticking sachet
7. 3D advertisement with paper glasses
8. Fragrance Newspaper – mix a fragrance in printing ink.

But with overuse of these innovations, it’s back to square one situation and these innovations too have started losing uniqueness for brands and thus delivering compromised mileage to advertisers.

I have tried to prepare a list of some of the print media innovation ideas that still remain unique for India and can bring value to advertisers and print media owners too.

Newspaper format based innovations:
1. Change the circulation cycle:
A morning newspaper gets delivered one day before in the evening with headline “Breaking News.” This can be used for any big product launch or announcement.
2. Change the newsprint size: Change broadsheet newspaper to tabloid. This innovation may be good to communicate the occasions of price drop.
3. Cut the RHS corners of the newspapers diagonally: Another price cut announcement innovation idea.
4. Cut the RHS corners of the newspaper in round shape: We think of your safety that’s why we cut the sharp edges.
5. Change the newsprint colour: Change the colour of newsprint from traditional white paper to other new colour to deliver the brand message.

Newspaper printing technology based innovations:
1. Use of Thermo Chrome Ink:
Change colour of printed advertisement with change in temperature. Ask reader to rub the advertisement to change the colour of advertisement for new user stickiness and experience. Good idea for pack change innovations.
2. Hide content: With the help of new ink now it’s possible to hide content which can only be read under specific light exposure or after a definite time lapse. Deliver product promise through this innovation.

New technology based innovations:
1. Use of QR Code: Quick Response Code (QR Code) still is not being used in advertisement effectively in India, but could be excellent tool for generating immediate responses. Newspapers need to create awareness of QR Code among readers and should offer QR Code Scanner download to readers. Once done, QR Codes in advertisements can make readers open specific files or take them to specific web link.
2. Augmented Reality: Advertisers now can create augmented reality (AR)/ imaginary picture/ real world environment using printed markers. When readers view these advertisements through a webcam they will see/ view the content for different level of consumer experience and engagement around the brand.
3. Video in Print: Video in Print is a thin small screen which can be inserted in printed advertisement/ material for showcasing high quality audio video film to readers.
4. Experiment with mobile applications: Be creative and innovative like Volkswagen, which offered “Test Drive in Print Ad.” To watch how they did it, click on the link:

What I realise is that brands can get benefitted out of any innovation, so far they have come up with unique ideas around the brand that suit the brand communication strategy.

The author is Business Director – Indian Sub Continent, Buchanan Group India


For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube