Wan-Ifra Print Innovation Awards 2020

Indian news media groups bag 3 of 5 awards

Wan-Ifra Print Innovation Awards 2020

The Wan-Ifra Print Innovation Awards were awarded in a virtual ceremony at the World Printers Summit 2020 on October 29. The session was hosted by Ingi Rafn Olafsson, director, World Printers Forum, and began with Fernando de Yarza Lopez-Madrazo, president, Wan-Ifra. Lopez-Madrazo noted, “It is extremely important for an industry such as ours to innovate to reach more readers and to be more appealing to our advertisers.”

Wan-Ifra Print Innovation Awards 2020

Anu Ahola, senior vice president, News & Retail, UPM, the sponsors of this year’s Awards, said, “A lot of good ideas are floating around and some of the ideas have been developed in such a way that they can be considered to be innovations especially during the crisis times that Covid brought us. The focus of the innovations has been shifting from purely technical innovations in the core manufacturing processes in the Western world towards innovations covering the whole supply chain, including commercialization, sustainability, and even the ways of brokering with partners. In this year’s awards, it was particularly great to see how quickly our community came up with Covid-19 related innovations in printed newsprint.”

Ahola’s address was followed by a dedication to Boris Fuchs, who passed away on 13 October 2020 at the age of 87. Fuchs was the Ifra research director for many years and made a notable contribution to the newspaper industry.

The third edition of the Print Innovation Awards included five categories – advertising innovation, product innovation, products for young readers, special editions, and sustainability innovation. Spine card innovation for Mahindra Supro by Dainik Bhaskar, Bhopal, India, won the advertising innovation award. For the first time in the Indian print media industry – the innovation of a spine card advertisement was printed for automobile client Mahindra & Mahindra for the product launch of its Mahindra Supra Maxi truck.

Advertising Innovation category winner – Dainik Bhaskar

RD Bhatnagar, chief technology officer, Dainik Bhaskar, says, “One of our core values is being trendsetters, and we hold the record of giving the first perfumed newspaper to the world. This is a true tribute to the team that relentlessly worked to ensure that advertisers receive maximum response and value for their money.”

The product innovation award 2020 went to ‘Pour and Reveal’ by The Times of India, Mumbai, India. Pour & Reveal is a concept employed to educate students about blood group compatibility. The primary intent was to engage young readers to pour water and reveal compatible blood groups.

“This suggestion is an excellent idea for attracting young readers to newspapers. Publishing on a globally recognized day is wise. The playful implementation is very successful and fits the young target group perfectly. The idea thus offers both emotional and economic advantages,” observed a juror.

Product Innovation by The Times of India

Snehasis Roy, director – technical, Bennett Coleman, noted, “This is the third time in a row that we have got the award in the product innovation category from Wan-Ifra. We are very proud to say that we have printed 159 different innovations that we have launched, out of which we could monetize around 59 innovations so far, and our revenue was US$ 245 million (approximately Rs. 1,827 crore). It’s a very good journey that we have taken so far.”

The Wan-Ifra print innovation award for special editions went to ‘Forever Project’ by Stuff, Wellington, New Zealand. The Forever Project is a quarterly special edition focused on climate change and sustainability. The first edition of the Forever Project magazine was published on March 25, 2020 – just as New Zealand went into a nationwide alert level 4 lockdown for Covid-19. Despite the news cycle being consumed by Coronavirus, the magazine drew positive feedback from readers and other stakeholders.

“The Forever Project brought together journalists from all over Stuff’s newsroom and staff from all around our company to show climate change and sustainability – our priorities for the whole organization. We package New Zealand’s innovative and ambitious climate change reporting in a striking and carbon neutral magazine. We have turned this into an opportunity for advertising clients to reach on to conscious consumers and tell their own sustainability stories. It is a symbol of Stuff’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact through a science-based approach. Stuff’s mission as a media company is to make New Zealand a better place,” commented Patrick Crewdson, editor-in-chief, Stuff.

Børneavisen – the children’s very own newspaper, Børneavisen, Denmark won the ‘product for young readers’ recognition at Wan-Ifra Print Innovation Awards 2020. Børneavisen is a weekly print newspaper for children aged 9-12. All content is produced by Børneavisen’s editorial on the principle of constructive journalism and co-creation with children. The 24-page newspaper includes news from around the world and stories about animals, sports, food, social media, science, and politics.

A jury member praised its innovativeness, “This idea is extremely well-designed and executed. This allows our youth to evaluate news in their own country as well for worldwide news. The method used is lively and fun for the target group. Well done!” Another juror remarked, “In the time of fake news, it is extremely important to educate our younger generations about the importance of free and impartial media outlets.”

Malayala Manorama’s sustainability innovation

10 MW wind turbine project by Malayala Manorama, Kerala, India, won the Wan-Ifra sustainability innovation award 2020. Malayala Manorama installed and commissioned the wind turbine project at Palakkad in Kerala to promote green energy and meet its energy requirements. The average yearly production from the 10MW plant is 24 million units.

Shibu George, chief general manager, Malayala Manorama, explained, “Our press operations are 100% from renewable energy generated by captive wind turbine generators which were installed in 2018. Our annual consumption for 24 processes spread across Kerala is 24 million units, while the generation is around 26 million units. This helps us to reduce our carbon footprint a lot.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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