Creative and innovative ideas are critical to the future of print advertising.
During the INMA Print Advertising Innovation Master Class in February, executives from Bild in Germany, Stuff in New Zealand, Folha de S.Paulo in Brazil, The Globe and Mail in Canada, and The Times of India Group shared some of their most creative and impactful print ad initiatives.
“Print can do things that you cannot do with digital advertising,” Andreas Conradt, managing director of BILD, said.
BILD is a German tabloid published by Axel Springer. For the 50th anniversary of the Berlin TV tower, the editorial team had an ambitious goal: to set a world record with the largest infographic ever printed in a daily newspaper. The sales team got on board, enlisting chocolatier Ferrero as a sponsor.
BILD’s technical experts glued three pieces of newspaper together to create a printed field that spread across six Nordic pages, with a total length of 2.35 metres (92 inches). Then, the image was inserted into the newspaper. Not only did the company claim the world record, but it created an innovative new advertising concept with what it calls megapanoramic ads.
“I would call it standard nowadays in our portfolio of special ads,” he said. “It’s really like one big poster.”
This approach has been used successfully with other advertisers, including the 35th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz car factory.
Stuff (New Zealand)
Steve Hutton, group sales director at Stuff New Zealand, shared a creative and engaging campaign — a competition called Paper Planes in 2020.
This competition was open to all creative agencies in New Zealand and had two categories: best print concept and best digital extension. The prize was NZ$500,000 worth of advertisement across Stuff’s entire product line. Stuff, a newspaper conglomerate (formerly called Fairfax) with the most popular news Web site in New Zealand, has a digital audience of more than two million.
The winner was based upon the most creative and innovative ways to use print throughout New Zealand and shone a light on the power of print.
This competition aimed to drive a deeper connection with New Zealand’s creatives in media, Hutton saod: “Paper Planes embodies the act of transforming paper into innovative, unique, and entertaining.”
Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil)
At Folha de S.Paulo, print remains a significant part of the company’s revenue strategy, said Marcelo Benez, the company’s chief commercial officer: “The print platform still represents more than 64% of our advertising revenues.”
Folha de S.Paulo is a daily newspaper in Brazil, based in São Paulo. Last February, in celebration of its 100th anniversary, the company published a historical print edition that attracted more than 100 advertisers from some of the most important brands, such as MasterCard, Honda, and more.
“On that day, mainly because of print, our revenues were more than 20 times higher than our daily editions,” Benez said. “We had ads on digital, of course. But this wide variety of important brands on the traditional version proves not only the power of a legacy brand, but also the value of print these days.”
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Tracy Day, managing director of ad products and innovation for The Globe and Mail, said the company has three print platforms: newspapers, magazines, and client publications.
“Print continues to drive value for advertisers,” Day said. “It provides an opportunity to reach an exclusive audience.”
The Globe and Mail, which is printed in five cities across Canada, publishes more than 100 special reports a year, offering a unique opportunity for advertising and representing 72% of the company’s print revenue. They’re pre-planned and allow advertisers to place ads in relevant contextual environments. Depending on the length of the piece, they can either be a stand-alone print or within a section. When these contain sponsored content, they are clearly labeled to avoid misleading readers.
“These reports are based on what we think the key topics are that people are interested in with regards to advertisers and our audience,” Day said.
The Times of India
The Times of India’s clients often say “show us something that has never been done before,” Malcolm Raphael, the company’s senior vice president, said: “We made sure we adopt a culture of innovation, with the reader and advertiser at the same time.”
The Times of India is an English-language daily news product (the largest English-langauge daily newspaper in the world) owned by The Times Group. Raphael said its marketing team is focused on creating one ecosystem, which includes creative agencies, media agencies, and advertisers.
He showed some innovative examples of ads throughout the past few years, including audio within a digital version of a print spread with a popular car company, and using fun cutouts throughout the spread. These implemented ideas brought elevated creative elements that made the print product extremely engaging for the readers.
Also with all of the unique and creative ads, there was a lot of buzz on social media, with influencers posting the cover pages and ads online.
“Print can generate a lot of conversation,” said Raphael. “Good ads get talked about.”