There’s a view that hyperlocal newspapers may have missed their window of opportunity… and that if there was one, the technology would be offset rather than digital.
But if run lengths and per-copy costs dictate against it, marketing opportunities can still drive digital print applications.
At WAN-Ifra’s Indian Printers Summit last week, Amit Khurana of TechNova India explored some of those opportunities in a session about digital’s use for both newspapers and “packvertising”.
In the case of newspapers, he said that while publishers might have a short run application to extend reach or to leverage other inherent capabilities, this was “a solution looking for a cost-beneficial case” in India.
Khurana – who is chief operating officer of TechNova’s newspaper group – argued that tomorrow’s newspapers would be niche products, making use of customisation and personalisation, to deliver greater engagement and user experience… “value over cost”.
The same capability that can deliver several simultaneous editions can also be used to create potent brand campaigns. Among examples were that of Brazil daily Estado de São Paulo, which demonstrated the freshness of client Café Pelé’s product by wrapping 5000 bags in front-page facsimiles.
The packaging was printed on HP Indigo’s 20000 – not the digital press one would suggest for newspaper printing – but the campaign was popular on social media and led to a reported 400 per cent jump in coffee sales. More than a million readers interacted with the campaign “more than once”.
Khurana discussed how such a strategy could work for newspaper advertisers when budgets are shrinking. The answer could be a standout campaign which would drive brand recall and even short-term action and sales.
Other examples included Nestlé’s 12 million unique KitKat packs and the #DettolSalutes campaign in which the brand logo was replaced with the image COVID warriors on handwash packs.
If those examples prompt any ideas, the challenge will is now for brand managers and media planners to make use of news publishers’ multichannel assets, trust and urgency in the same way.