7 Mistakes to Avoid with Newspaper Advertising

Newspaper advertising, if limited to classified ads, is the easiest way to reach out to people, especially in case of personal requirements or small scale promotions. Taking risks or making small mistakes in classified advertisements may not be a big issue due to its low cost.Classified Ad

But when it comes to something as grand and expensive as newspaper display advertisement then, advertisers need to become meticulous about everything associated with the advertisement. Advertisers are aware of the fact that a lot of hard work goes into newspaper advertising, in terms of money, time, effort, market research and creativity.

Hence, it is necessary to be very careful with it and avoid making mistakes which either leads to spoiling the reputation of the advertisers or dumps the efforts made in waste if desired responses are not received. While getting your newspaper advertisement released ensure relevant responses from the concerned target audiences, by avoiding 10 crucial mistakes made by many.

7 avoidable mistakes in Newspaper Display Advertising

Although a winning newspaper advertisement may not be subject to avoiding these mistakes but they should be avoided by every ad. Ensuring that these mistakes do not harm the potential of the advertisement is the main objective of encompassing and informing advertisers about them.

Let’s find out these mistakes along with possible solutions for the same.

1) Use of Complex Taglines

While advertising it is really essential to realise that an advertisement is also the form of communication with the masses and communication should be comprehensive. The simpler the content of the ad the more comprehensive is the advertisement. A tagline should give out the message but in simple words and not in some flowery terminology, because in advertising using uncomplicated terms, is extremely crucial.

2) Use of Abstract Taglines

Abstract taglines are often baffling for the readers. It barely delivers the message and actually leaves the audience wondering as to what is the purpose of the advertisement. For instance, if you intend to advertise your jewellery retail chain, then you must mention jewellery in the tagline or the type of Jewellery you are promoting, like “The Best Kundan Jewellery at a store near you!” This statement conveys the message as well as talks about the product that is promoted.

3) Excessive use of Text

The key strategy of an advertisement is to deliver a message, be it for sales, branding or an announcement. The primary necessity of an advertisement is to be crisp and concise because it is an advertisement and not an essay. Copy or Content is always an essential ingredient of an ad, but using it judiciously and effectively is what makes an advertisement stand out among the rest. So keeping the words or message concise in an advertisement ensures a much more elegant and crisp way of delivering it to the target audience.

4) Infrequent Ad Releases

It takes the time to gain the trust of any buyer irrespective of the medium of advertising. It also takes the time to establish the name of a brand and create a substantial recognition for it. Also, if a festive offer is running for a certain period of time, then announcing the event just once may not be enough since readers may tend to forget about it. Therefore, just one advertisement is never enough for either branding purposes or for increasing sales. Multiple ad insertions mean that the chances of the ad getting noticed are increased by many folds alongside increasing the number of repeated eyeballs it receives.

5) Single Ad Testing

Many advertisers often get discouraged by a single trial advertisement and end up concluding that newspaper advertising is not effective. The same advertisement if released several times may not get the responses it is expected to. Versatility is always welcome for the ordinary readers and audiences. So newspaper ad trials should not be limited to just one ad but released with a few changes every time it is published. Changes, such as using a different image or a more direct tagline, crisper content or even a different background colour may make it more relevant or attractive to the audience.

6) Ignoring the Contact Details

This is the basic requirement for an audience to be able to contact an advertiser. An address alongside a contact number and an email or a website, if available provided in the advert can prove to be highly beneficial to the advertiser. In fact, it is best to provide all these details as the audience can have at least one mode of contact in the absence of others. For instance, a person without internet access should be able to contact the advertiser through phone, while an interested buyer without a phone can directly visit the store for purchase.

7) Ad Release at the Wrong Time

While promoting a product or a sales event or offering festive discounts, it is essential to advertise at the right time. Timing is extremely crucial for advertisements even for making announcements and brand awareness adverts. There is no point in reminding the audience of the brand twice within a week, neither is there a point in promoting the Sale period after it is over or making an announcement which has crossed its deadline or too close to it. An illustration explaining the situation can be garnered through a series of adverts by Shopper’s Stop that needs to promote their Diwali offers which extend over week overlapping the festival. In this case, there is no point advertising after Diwali is over unless it is extending even after the festival, rather the event promotion should begin from the day it begins and continues until the day it ends.

Avoiding these mistakes may not make a display ad full-proof or a huge hit, but it will surely get it noticed and make it stand out among the rest of the advertisement that we see every day in a newspaper. So keep these mistakes in mind, to avoid making them, not implementing them!

Best Practices for Retail Advertisements

Retail Advertising is one of the most interesting forms of advertisements that we see in our day-to-day lives. It involves several elements which are all equally essential and cannot be taken for granted. Retail advertisements may not be a very regular thing for newspaper publications but surely they are a huge source of revenue. Since when they choose to advertise, they do so in bundles within a stipulated period of time.Retail Display Advertisement

Retail newspaper ads in the display format are published mainly for one specific objective-Driving sales and Store Footfalls. This is the reason behind retail adverts to get their ads released when there are special offers, discounts or festive overtures, going on in the store. Retailers usually prefer to advertise throughout the stipulated date range of the proposed event or Sale/Festive Seasons. The purpose of almost all retail adverts is to increase the sales of their merchandise and branding is not really their top priority.

Therefore, to comprehend what are the essential elements for retail advertising, we need to delve a little deeper into the world of retail advertising. The important elements of a retail advertisement are described below in the order of their significance in an advertisement.

Conveying the Call-to-Action

To drive sales and ensure the higher number of footfalls, it is important to comprehensively deliver or convey the call-to-action. The customer or potential must be aware of his/her course of action after reviewing the advertisement. The call-to-action is a part of the copy that is developed for the advertisement. It can also be a directly conveyed through a simple yet effective tagline, for example, if you want the buyer to visit your garments store before the 25th of December, then you may straight away use the tagline “Visit us before Christmas ends for Best Discounts”.Display Ads on Newspaper

This kind of a tagline not only conveys the duration of the offer period but also directs the reader or potential buyer to the intended action, ensuring more relevant responses for your advertisement.

Use of Attractive Images

The visual effect of a display advertisement in a newspaper is quite significant in the case of retail advertisements. The ad image should include one or more merchandises that are being promoted by that specific retail store which may range from garments to jewellery to commercial bazaars. This actually lures the buyer to engage in reviewing the advertisement and responding to it as desired by the advertiser.

Significance of Logo

The logo of a retail brand is also quite crucial at the time of advertising to push up the store sales during a specific season. Buyers should be able to associate the logo with the concerned retail brand name to imbibe faith and remind the buyer about the advertisement and the event alongside the brand itself. This calls for developing an unforgettable logo that is imprinted in the mind of the buyer or anyone who comes in contact with the advertisement published in a newspaper of your choice.

Taking the help of an expert is recommended for logo designing as it may not be as easy as it sounds. The colour combination, the relevance of the logo with the brand, the font used and every minute detail is really important for the image of the brand.

Before engaging in a retail advertising venture, an advertiser must ensure that all the above elements are skilfully implemented in the ad, because, after all, everyone is advertising to compete.

What are The most Popular Advertising Categories under Display?

There are two kinds of advertisers who indulge in display advertising in newspapers-

  • Those interested in creating Brand Awareness
  • Those interested in Sales Promotions on a large scale

Both these objectives are subject to the budget of the advertisers.Newspaper Display Ad

In case of Brand Awareness, the higher the budget, the bigger the ad and the better the responses from the target audience. Along with advantages in lieu of the ad size, there are also other benefits that a higher budget can provide like better creative for prominence, better visual effects to attract the audience and quality content to engage the readers. All such experiments and creativity can be explored only in case of display advertisements as there is both sufficient space and scope for them, making it ideal for brand awareness.

But there are certain display advertisements which are meant for sales promotions. These ads need not have a huge budget but they surely need to be attractive and highlight the events or offers. In this case, though there is no hindrance to creativity, but the ads are more factual and provide information about related events and offers.

Certain categories are more popular in the Display format rather than in the classified section. Let’s find out the most popular Display ad categories.


Although personal property sellers or landlords opt for the classified ad format, most real estate companies handling housing complexes and residential buildings publish only display adverts. Model images, proper designs and relevant taglines are used in the advertisements which are either meant for selling off the apartments of the complex or for brand awareness. Builders often intend to fulfil both the objectives through a single advertisement which is why they end up choosing newspapers with the highest circulations or readership in the concerned locations.

EducationEducation Display Ad

A number of Universities, Colleges, Schools and even Professional Course Institutes, need to stay in the limelight to maintain their brand’s popularity and of course get as many admissions as possible. Although admission notices are limited to a certain time period, display Education advertisements continue to make their presence felt through the media. Most educational institutes opt for Display adverts as they often have no budget constraints and need to make people aware of their brand for future admissions and academic references.


Businesses need to promote themselves and ensure maximum profits. The best way to ensure that is to enhance their visibility with high quality creative, attractive designs and captivating content. Most FMCG companies, Retailers like Jewellers, Clothing Chains, along with e-commerce companies, electronics, cosmetics, automobiles and even telecom companies prefer newspaper display adverts. This format of ads helps such organisations gather as many eyeballs as possible from existing as well as prospective consumers.

TravelTravel Display Ad

Travel ads are highly common and are an exclusive preference among display advertisements as many online as well as offline travel agents prefer to advertise through newspapers for announcing seasonal discounts on tourism or package deals or even holiday packages. Hotels, travel and tourism agents, resorts etc choose to advertise through display ads emphasising on sales promotions. It targets the audience who are on the lookout for travel agents or planning for trips but are not internet savvy or do not rely on online mediums.


Recruitment advertisements the most frequently published display ads in newspapers. Almost all MNCs, IT companies, popular Consultancies, BPOs, KPOs, banks and even finance companies prefer display recruitment ads in order to reach out to the potential applicants. The simple reason to pick display ads over classifieds for recruitment purposes is that it serves two purposes at one go-brand endorsing and candidate search. These recruitment ads are usually well crafted, attractive with the logo and name of the recruiting organisation along with job description, requirement and of course contact details.

One thing is for sure that for a display newspaper advertisement, you need to have an exclusive budget, proper media planning and creative resources available at hand. The biggest benefit of newspaper display adverts is that they are much cheaper than TV commercials and many other mediums of advertising but serves the objective just right.

What are the different display ad sizes?

Which newspaper ad size fits your pocket?

Among the two types of newspaper advertisements, display ad sizes are the ones that matter the most to advertisers, since classified display ads have a few limitations in terms of ad sizes. Therefore advertisers in general focus more on the display ad sizes, while classified adverts are known more by the number of words and lines used in them.Display Ad Fromat

So let’s comprehend the different ad sizes in which display adverts are published. Although there can be numerous ad sizes, but we intend to focus on the ones that are popular.

Quarter Page

The name quarter page refers to the 1/4th of a newspaper page which has about 7-8 columns of standard size, which is around 3-4 cm each and has a length of about 50-52 cm. A quarter of these dimensions brings the ad to a size of about 15-16 cm in width and 25-26 cm in length.Quarter Page Ad in Hindu Newspaper

A quarter page ad occupies a complete corner of a newspaper page and is also referred to as a postcard size advertisement. This is the most common form of display advertisement, as it is not only an economical option but if placed strategically, as mentioned about corners in the previous lesson, they can prove to be quite effective. The standard size followed by quarter page advertisements by publications is 16 cm X 25 cm for convenience in designing and printing the ad.

Half Page

By the same logic, a half page ad is known so as it occupies half of a newspaper page. But there are two types of half page adverts which have separate dimensions as well.

Vertical Half Page- If a half page ad is vertically printed then the dimensions of such an ad would be around 16 cm wide and 52 cm long covering the full vertical length and the half width of the page.

Horizontal Half Page- As for a horizontal half page advertisement, the ad would be 33 cm wide and 25 cm long, covering the complete width and half length of the page in question.  

Half-page advertisements are mostly common among Business, Retail and FMCG categories. Some of these ads are also flip ads, which means that only half of the newspaper page is printed on which the ad is placed while the rest has no content or any page at all. This happens mainly in case of the front page vertically half ads which appear like a half jacket of the main newspaper.

Full Page

Full page ads, as the name suggests covers the entire page of the newspaper and has no other content apart from the ad print. All full page advertisements are 33 cm wide covering about 8 columns and 52 cm long. These dimensions are based on the size of a broadsheet excluding a margin of at least 1-2 cm on the edges.

Full Page Ad in Delhi Times Newspaper

**(An image of a full page advertisement mentioning the dimensions of arrows and a gap of 1-2 cm on all the sides, displayed with arrows again)

Minimum Ad size

You must be wondering what else separates a display ad from a classified display ad which can also be wide as 6 cm and have any length.

Well, the minimum size of a display advertisement is around 4 cm in width and 4 cm in length while that of a classified display ad is 3 cm (width) by 5 cm (length). And, of course, that display ads can be printed on any page of a newspaper or its supplement.

In the case of certain specific newspapers, this minimum ad size criteria may be different. An example of this is the Times of India, wherein the minimum display ad size is 8 cm by 6 cm in case of all editions, except Delhi, for which the size limit is 8 cm by 4 cm.

Custom Ad Sizes

Apart from these popular ad sizes, there are certain ad sizes which cannot have a specific name since they are basically custom ad sizes. The dimensions for such adverts depend on the advertiser’s choice or the size of their personally designed ad.

Some of the most frequently preferred sizes are:

  • 4 cm (width) by 5 cm (length)
  • 8 cm (width) by 4 cm (length)
  • 8 cm (width) by 5 cm (length)
  • 8 cm (width) by 6 cm (length)
  • 8 cm (width) by 12 cm (length)
  • 12 cm (width) by 20 cm (length)
  • 16 cm (width) by 20 cm (length)

Advertisers can pick any of the above-mentioned sizes for their display ad or go with their own preferred ad size as per the design of their ad layout. But while publishing a display ad, one thing should be always be kept in mind that, except for the full page advertisement, the width all display ads sizes are even numbers, as in multiples of the numerical 2.

How are Display ads priced?

What kind of advertisements attracts the attention of readers the most?

Most people would say-‘The one that is big and colourful with interesting content’.

Well, this is a layman’s definition of what we refer to as Display advertisements in the world of media.Times Ascent Advertisement

Display advertisements are the most extravagant newspaper advertisements which require proper media planning, budget allocation and creative resources. It may apparently seem quite simple but a lot of hard work goes behind making it comprehensive for the readers.

Since newspaper advertisements draw a major chunk of their advertisement revenue from display advertisements, there are certain essential conditions that are the deciding factors for the pricing of such adverts. These factors need to be critically examined for a better understanding of the resources invested in it.

The basic structure of a display ad involves the use of images, custom logos, choice of page and position in the newspaper and of course creative deliverance. Now let’s find out how they affect the rates of this ad specific ad format.

Size of the Ad

This is the first basic factor that plies with the cost of the display advertisement. An ad can be as small as the postcard or can be as large as a full page advert. The charges obviously vary based on the size of each ad.

  • Each display ad is measured in terms of per sq. cm unit of space occupied by the advertisement on a particular page.
  • Every ad size is calculated in terms of height or length and width or columns occupied by the ad
  • The minimum display ad size should be at least around 4 cm (Length) X 4cm (Width)
  • The larger the ad, the higher is the cost, simply because larger ads ensure more attention from the readers.
  • There are certain ads that occupy the front as well as the last page and are referred to as jacket ads, which are again charged double the price of a full-page ad. The cost goes up based on the number of pages occupied by an ad or rather a campaign.City Times Advertisement

For Instance, a full page ad on the front page covering only one side of the page of Times of India costing about 8.5 lakhs will cost almost 17 lakhs if it covers both sides of the front page.

Placement of the ad

Along with the size of an advertisement, even the page where it is placed is quite crucial in determining the price of the advertisement. A display ad can be placed on different pages of a newspaper based on there are additional charges applied on the same advert and the pages are mentioned below:

  • A front page display ad makes the best impact on the reader as its the first thing he/she sees in the newspaper hence it has the highest premium applicable on it.
  • Then there is Page 3 which also demands a premium since it is one of the most visited pages of every newspaper and is particularly preferred by the upper classes, businessmen and socialites.
  • There is also a premium applicable for advertising on the last page of a newspaper since it is another page that receives a lot of attention from the reader as well as those surrounding the reader.
  • Apart from only the pages of the main newspapers, there are supplements as well which are dedicated to a certain category of advertisements. For Instance, Hindustan Times has a special recruitment supplement known as HT Shine, which is meant only for display recruitment adverts.
  • Each supplement has a different rate, which is different from that of the main newspaper. The reason behind this is that a recruitment advertisement placed in a recruitment special supplement covering articles, editorials and write-ups on jobs and career is bound to get more eyeballs from relevant job seekers compared to a similar ad in the main newspaper.

Position of the ad

Which corner of the newspaper is a reader liable to notice first?

As a reader flips through the newspaper pages, the advertisement that first catches his/her attention is the one that is visually convenient for him/her to notice. Based on this convenience there are 4 different corners that are usually preferred by advertisers in a newspaper

  • The first preference of an advertiser is of course the upper left-hand corner of the page which has the highest premium applicable on it
  • Then there is the Upper Right-hand corner of the page that has a lower premium on it
  • The next in order of expensiveness is the Lower Left Hand Corner
  • The last but not the least is the Lower Right Hand Spot, which though visually convenient is the one that has the lowest premium charges

For instance, if an ad is placed on the upper left-hand side of the page on the left, it has better chances of being noticed by the reader compared to the one that is placed in the lower left-hand corner.  

Hence picking a more visible corner has a premium charge applicable to it. These options are available only for those who choose a quarter page ad or a lower ad size.

Black and White/ Coloured

Of course, to make your ad more prominent, you need to make it colourful which is why there are different premiums applicable to different colour formats. There are two colour options available for all display advertisements-coloured and black/white.

  • Obviously, the black and white format is a cheaper option
  • The coloured ads usually have higher rate than the black/white formats

Although there are certain publications who do not charge any premium for a coloured advertisement, but most of them do.

So if you are publishing a black and white display advertisement in Anandabazar Patrika which is 8 cm wide and 9 cm long in Kolkata edition, it will cost you around Rs.2.10 lakhs while a coloured ad of the same size and edition will cost around Rs.3.2 lakhs. This shows that the colour of your advertisement can make a difference of almost 50% in the cost of the ad.

Day of the Week

On certain days of the week, all of us spend a little extra time with the newspaper, catching up with the entire week’s news and information updates, especially on Sundays. You must have noticed that the newspapers on Sundays are particularly heavier and have a higher number of supplements than on other days.

On this specific day readers also spend quite a bit of time reviewing advertisements, ensuring more attention for them.

This is one reason why charges for advertisements placed on Sundays are higher than those published on other days of the week. This is mostly true in case of popular newspapers like Times of India, Hindustan Times, Anandabazar Patrika, Dainik Bhaskar etc.

Gathering attention is the main and only objective of most display advertisements. So while publishing your own display ad, make sure that you review and incorporate the above options as per your convenience and budget size.