Print still rules for advertisers (including internet start-ups)

20 Oct,2015


By Hari Krishnan


India counters the rest of the world’s media-evolution-pattern of traditional media de-growth. And this is evident from the mushrooming of daily newspapers in the country, including regional ones. The Hindi and other vernacular print media markets performed exceedingly well on the back of low media penetration, high population growth and rising income and literacy levels. FMCG, retail and real estate want to reach these new audiences. In urban India, e-commerce and internet businesses are driving the growth. No wonder the forecast for ad spends in dailies is a growing 13 per cent (next only to digital), and in magazines it is a positive projection of five per cent growth.


Let’s look at some of the key reasons that makes press still a dependable vehicle that advertisers are betting on, especially the new-age, internet, smartphone and app- enabled ecosystem players. Of course the generic advantages of newspaper ads being more informative in a credible environment, carrying content with greater shelf life than a TVC and the audience being a bit more involved, still apply, as they did ever since the medium was invented. However the altered market landscape offers a few new answers.


Over 2000 first-time advertisers in 2015

The total number of first-time advertisers on mass media, is a staggering 2,250 in 2015 alone, implying the need for creating basic brand awareness for over 2,000 new brands in the market. The press offers the advantage of quick and high reach to create mass awareness levels on Day One, because it’s the best ‘announcement medium’.


E-commerce action is date-specific

As the e-commerce war heats up, brands are betting on specific ‘sale days’ to drive a huge surge of traffic and transactions. While TV, too, is used to build up the stress and anticipation, the print media does the job best on specific dates earmarked for the shopping event, additionally offering the benefits of a ‘catalogue effect’ of individual products and pricing. The same applies to major brick-and-mortar retail players too.


TV time inventory has shrunk

The year-and-a-half-old cap on TV ads (10+2 rule) has resulted in a shortage of supply of TV advertising time, the added number of new advertisers and growing budgets of existing players have created an excess demand that has been diverted to the next high-reach, high-impact medium: Print. E-commerce player spends have doubled in 2015 (over last year), standing at a staggering Rs 1,600 crore. The online category will overtake cars to become the third-biggest spender in 2015.


Hari Krishnan is Managing Director, ZenithOptimedia Group, India


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