Newspapers should go for value addition to reclaim lost advertisement share

Value addition in print advertisements

SS Kulkarni

Although India is one of the few countries where newspaper circulation continues to show signs of growth, especially in the regional language segment, the advertising revenue of print medium, newspapers and magazines has been declining in recent years as brands move to other competing platforms, such as television, web and radio. This trend is significant since the Indian newspaper industry still relies heavily on advertisements unlike the West where subscription revenue has surpassed advertising revenue. One of the ways Indian newspapers can compete with other media, bring back the advertisers and increase the share of advertising revenue is to add value to advertisements from the printing ink point of view. One advantage that works in favor of print is that all the different possibilities of value addition are unique to physical format, such as newspapers.

In one of the sessions during WAN-IFRA conference in Chennai, SS Kulkarni, general manager – technical, Huber Group, India said that this value addition can be done in three ways—by adding sensory effects to the print advertisement, improving the overall aesthetics of the print, and printing with eco-friendly products.

To enhance sensory effects, newspapers can use photochromatic effects in printed advertisements, add fragrance, use effects such as scratch and see, as well as wet and see. These special effects can go a long way in attracting the attention of readers. “All these effects can only be used in print media advertisements so the print media can maximize the advantage these offer,” Kulkarni said.

He, however, added that there are some technological limitations in fully adopting these effects due to the fact that web offset printing utilizes 4-Hi tower configurations and an additional fifth unit will be required to print these special effects. Also, the standard newsprint is rough and achieving special effects on this surface can be very difficult. This can be tackled by ways such as pasting pre-printed labels, screen printing on pre-printed papers. However, this add-on can be generally be done only on the front or outside pages of newspapers.

The second way of value addition is to improve aesthetics, which can be achieved by enhancing gloss and color. By using UV curable inks on lesser absorbent paper, a high gloss can be achieved. Using paper varieties such as LWC paper and GNP paper to print advertisements will help the reproduction of photo-realistic images and enhance advertisments in what becomes a kind of semi-commercial printing. This practices is already in place about a dozen newspaper groups in the country.

Newspapers can also add value to the advertisements by opting for eco-friendly products such as mineral-oil-free inks. Before the newspapers are recycled, the de-inking process results in the hazardous waste inks going into land fills, which is very harmful for the environment. By printing with mineral-oil-free inks, brands can become more eco-friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. Mineral oil free inks are 100% recyclable and after de-inking process, these inks can be used in fertilizers.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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