Daily Prothom Alo’s ad campaign bridges print and digital platforms

By Matiur Rahman

Prothom Alo

Dhaka, Bangladesh


The riverine country of Bangladesh is in the delta of the Padma and Jamuna rivers in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent. Although the country’s supreme court has given all its rivers legal rights, these rivers were asking to be bridged, to connect people and their lives.

One of such river is Padma, one of the mightiest in the world. Until now, people from the southwest of Bangladesh had to use boats, launches, or other ferries to connect to people on the other side. 

The 6.15-kilometer Padma Shetu Bridge will be an infrastructural milestone for Bangladesh, giving millions of people in South Bengal access to better education, resources, healthcare, and industrial services. It is anticipated that the bridge will increase the total GDP of Bangladesh by more than 1%.

The Daily Prothom Alo created content around the construction of the Padma Shetu Bridge, building a new advertising opportunity.
The Daily Prothom Alo created content around the construction of the Padma Shetu Bridge, building a new advertising opportunity.

More importantly, the bridge will connect South Bengal with the rest of the country. Opportunities for the Bangladeshi people will increase, resource allocation will become more efficient, and the country will grow more than ever before. It is no wonder that the construction of the Padma Bridge by the country’s own finance gave Bangladeshi people excitement and more importantly, gave them hope! 

Innovative sales strategy

The Daily Prothom Alo is one of the most versatile publications in South Asia and has adapted to changes in the industry. Started in 1998, the Daily Prothom Alo (“The First Light”) is the largest media house in Bangladesh. It reaches its readers in Bangladesh along with 200 other countries and territories around the world through its print and digital versions. Its social media platform is the biggest in its category in the country and one of the largest Bangla language media Web sites in the world. 

It dispatched an integrated newsroom to operate its online and print journalism from the same platform. Advertisement revenues are getting tough to earn day by day; Prothom Alo has emphasised its strategic sales department to generate revenue for the company through innovation, ideation, creativity, and integration of print and digital.

With the advancement of the construction of the Padma Bridge, the department saw great advertising opportunities. We created a strategy for advertisers to contextually connect with the audience in commemorating the 100% visibility of the Padma Shetu Bridge once the last slab was added. We called it the 6.15 Kilometers of Hope campaign and created content around the Padma Shetu to provide enough value for advertisers that we could charge a 100% premium price for every CI sold under this campaign.

The campaign also included opportunities for digital advertising.
The campaign also included opportunities for digital advertising.

Content for all platforms

Content was designed with digital advertisers in mind, too. It enabled brands to get a positive impact on brand value by tagging themselves with Padma Shetu news on the Prothom Alo Newspaper.

Before the campaign, strategies were devised to incorporate all big industry players who would likely buy the premium ads. To enable a bigger ad pool for the campaign, we also created sufficient content for mid- to small-sized advertisers. This approach paid off in the end with plenty of great feedback from local advertisers.

The Prothom Alo sales team sold out the entire inventory within a week, acquiring advertisements from Shah Cement Industries Ltd, BSRM Steel, Heidelberg Cement, Holcim, KSRM, Natundhara, Nikki Thai Aluminum, Fresh Cement, and many more. Largely, these companies are big producers of construction materials. The campaign was scheduled for December 10-14, 2020.

The Padma Shetu campaign for Prothom Alo execution allowed Prothom Alo to meet its revenue target. Through the campaign, Prothom Alo delivered advertisers a reach and engagement of 17+ million. 

The impact in digital was sensational. In a country like Bangladesh, where digital revenue for the news industry is yet largely to be tapped, the campaign bagged a total of 10+ million impressions. In social media, it acquired 45K+ Facebook likes and 2.3K+ shares. Five videos had 150,000 minutes of viewing time by 300,000 viewers.

The campaign was exceptionally well-received on social media platforms.
The campaign was exceptionally well-received on social media platforms.

In print, advertisers rushed to get published in the jacket, front pages, inner pages, and back page. The result was tremendous! Total CI sold was 499, which brought a total campaign reach of 6.7 million. Considering the print medium in 2020 and 2021, the 6.15 Kilometers of Hope campaign allowed the Prothom Alo business development department to achieve 12% additional revenue.

Banner photo by Azim Khan Ronnie.

About Matiur Rahman

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