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With supplements, Hindi dailies seek bigger pie of ad revenue

19-July-2004
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With supplements, Hindi dailies seek bigger pie of ad revenue

In a bid to get a larger pie of the advertising revenue, leading Hindi dailies have been busy enhancing the range and number of colour supplements. These supplements not only help in reaching the target group more effectively, but also offer advertisers a good platform to showcase their products targeted at specific consumer groups.

An industry expert pointed out that Hindi newspapers were losing out significant amounts of advertising revenue over the years due to intense competition from English dailies and the electronic media. FMCG advertisers were almost completely ignoring Hindi dailies as an advertising option. In order to get a share of this large business, Hindi newspapers have come out with tailored supplements, both coloured and glazed, to woo advertisers, this expert said on condition of anonymity.

Rajiv Singh, Vice-president-Marketing, Amar Ujala, pointed out that his newspaper has recently come out with four new supplements and a special glamour page. All these target specific reader groups like women, youth, teenagers, kids, etc. “With these supplements we will not only strengthen the readership of specific groups, but also bring in FMCG advertisers who are using the electronic media very aggressively. These supplements will provide them the right platform to showcase their products targeted at particular consumer groups. FMCG advertising will certainly see a shift to Hindi newspapers with these supplements,” Singh said.

Girish Agarwal, Director-Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar, echoed Singh’s view. He said the main motive for a Hindi newspaper to come out with targeted supplements was to cater to the needs of different sections of readers. “Currently, in Gujarat, we are coming out with 14 supplements a week. Nationally too we are coming out with supplements almost on a daily basis. Each of these supplements requires an investment of Rs 1 crore annually. But this is worth it as they offer advertisers a very good vehicle to reach out to the target group. For instance, a bike manufacturer can advertise his product in the youth supplement,” Agarwal observed.

S.B. Jain, Executive President, Punjab Kesri, points out that his newspaper comes out with supplements on all seven days a week. However, he admits that so far these supplements have not been a very good revenue generator for the newspaper. The production costs have been higher than the ad revenue generated. However, these can be good revenue generator when it comes to regional editions as advertisers in particular regions can reach the target audience at a lower cost, says Jain.

Mohit Hira, Vice-President, Navbharat Times, says the newspaper brings out a four-page pullout called ‘Hello Delhi’ on five days a week, i.e, on all days except Mondays and Thursdays. It has sections on travel, hospitality, fashion, films, beauty, etc. The pullout offers a good platform to advertisers to showcase their products and reach the target group, Hira says.

Jaya Singh, Senior Manager, Hindustan, says supplements “undoubtedly leverage the value of a newspaper”. Right now Hindustan comes out with a daily supplement called ‘Hindustan City’ which covers various topics. “Advertisers are now certainly finding these as a good opportunity,” observes Singh.

Shailesh Gupta, Director, Marketing, Dainik Jagran, says supplements are launched keeping readers’ needs in mind. The newspaper’s recently launched ‘Yatra’, a supplement on travel, and others like ‘Jhankar’, offer a good platform to advertisers targeting niche audiences, says Gupta.

This trend among Hindi dailies has found takers among media planners who agree with the strategy of introducing targeted supplements. Sindhu Raghavan, Media Group Head, Initiative Media, said supplements of Hindi newspapers certainly offer a cheaper option to advertisers. The glazed paper adds to the “feel of a product” when the ads are inserted in these supplements. “Right now media planners have started looking at Hindi newspaper supplements as a good option when it comes to reaching both rural and urban audiences. For example, a women-specific supplement is the right place for a washing machine ad,” Raghavan observed.

Anindya Ray, Director, Media Services, Mediaedge, a subsidiary of Rediffusion DY&R, had an interesting opinion: the introduction of supplements in Hindi newspapers is a smart move to counter competition from the electronic and English media. “These new supplements are certainly offering media planners a good option to reach the target group. Moreover, advertisers who don’t find enough space in magazines can use these supplements as an efficient tool,” Ray said.

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