What are The Most Popular Advertising Categories for Classifieds?

As mentioned in lesson 3 of this module, budget and objective are the deciding factors for the type of advertisement an advertiser intends to publish. Based on these factors, there are certain ad categories which are particularly popular under the classified section rather than in the display ad format.

The reason behind the popularity of these classified categories is the objective which they intend to meet. Some of them are individual ads for personal references or meeting official requirements of individuals, while some of them are conditioned by the budget of the advertiser.

The list of popular Classified Ads is provided as follows.


All matrimonial match seekers who advertise in newspaperMatrimonial Classifieds only prefer the classified ad format and it is the most frequent classified ad category under which ads are booked. It can be a text ad or a classified display consisting of an image of the prospective bride or groom. The reason matrimonial advertisers choose the classified ad format is that these ads are published predominantly by parents and other family individuals and can be referred to as personal individual advertisements.

RecruitmentRecruitment Classifieds

Many of you may wonder that recruitment advertisements are more popular in the display format, but it is also quite popular category under classifieds. Most small and medium businesses fulfil their recruitment requirements with classified ‘Situation Vacant’ advertisements. Even individuals seeking jobs often advertise in the recruitment section under the sub-category of ‘Situation Wanted’, wherein, job seekers mention their qualifications and skills requesting a profile matching them.

ObituaryObituary Classified

Obituary advertisements are generally released in the Classified Display format which enables advertisers to include images of the deceased and messages of their choice at a much lesser price than display ads. Remembrances, funeral invitations and even condolence messages are conveyed through classified text or classified display advertisement as per the budget of the advertiser.


By property ads here, we do not mean real estate projects but advertisements for sale, purchase and rent out individual homes, flats or apartments. Brokers, landlords and Individual property owners constitute 100% of the classified property advertisers across all Indian newspapers.

BusinessBusiness Ads on Newspaper

Every business house has certain budget constraints, based on which they pick their mode of advertising. Since 8 times out of 10, newspaper advertising is the first choice of all business promotional campaigns, many small and medium sized businesses choose to advertise under the classified format. Sales promotions, Business Proposals/offers or even seeking Business partners are done through classified advertisements.


Classified Announcement Advertisements are the most common category of classified ads following matrimonial ads. Most announcements are made by individuals, which include personal declarations such as Name Change, Address Change, Lost & Found, legal notifications, marriage notices etc. All these announcements are specifically published in the classified text format as they are mainly meant for personal or government references as a testimony to change in certain personal details of a resident of the country. These are crucial announcements and need to be based which can’t be done away with, therefore to save money, people pick the text format for such ads.

Public Notice and Tenders

Public notices and Tender ads are also a type of public announcement, wherein the public is notified about changes brought about by rules, regulations, contract requirements, laws or anything associated with the government. This ad category is generally published in the Classified Display format, as most newspapers do not facilitate publishing public notices or tender ads in the text format. Also, since such ads have a lot of information to fit into a simple run-on line ad, it is more reasonable to publish them under the display classified format.

EducationEducation Advertisement

Contrary to popular belief, education ads are not limited to admission notices which are more often seen in the display format. There are numerous education adverts that are published in the classified ad format. These classifieds include adverts for introducing or promoting Coaching Classes & Private Tutors. Coaching centres generally have the limited budget since they have a very limited number of students while private tutors are predominantly individuals, which is why they opt for the classified format.


Last but not the least, almost all personal messages are conveyed through classified newspaper advertisements. Be it birthday greetings, season’s greetings, anniversaries, personal achievements, announcements about pets and animals or simple letters to friends and folks, all are conveyed via classified ads. The only reason behind this is that these are individual ads and individuals cannot afford display ad charges.

It is quite evident that most advertisers who pick classified advertisements are either individuals or have budget constraints. It is for this purpose that the format of display classifieds was introduced as something that has the features of a display ad with certain limitations pertaining to cost and fits in the budget of most newspaper advertisers.

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.

How are classified ads priced?

Classified advertisements constitute the main source of revenue for all newspapers across the world. They are larger in number and are published on a regular basis to fulfil some requirement or the other of individuals and small or medium businesses alike.Online Classified Ad in Newspaper

The reason they are referred to as classified advertisements is that they are classified into different categories and placed together in dedicated classified ad pages of a preferred newspaper. Different advertisements meant for different purposes are published under separate sections such as matrimonial, recruitment, change of name, lost and found, retail, services etc.

Now, these advertisements have a list of criteria associated with them, heading that list is the process of pricing these adverts. The pricing is conditioned by the type of classified advertisement that an advertiser chooses to publish. There are two types of classified advertisements, as mentioned in the previous lesson and the pricing for each type is different.

Let’s evaluate them in more minute details.

Pricing Criteria of Classifieds

Based on Words, lines and charactersText Classified Advertisement

Text advertisements are the simplest and most basic form of classified advertising. They include only words or characters or lines and the rates for each advertisement is primarily decided based on these conditions. Although the category, location and newspaper’s popularity are constant factors in deciding the rates for all kinds of newspaper advertisements, the number of words/lines/characters used in them is most essential in deciding the cost of a text classified.

  • Each classified text advertisement occupies only one column of the dedicated newspaper page.
  • The number of lines in the ad depends on the number of words used in each line of the ad matter.
  • Other factors affecting the price of classified text adverts are the enhancements which include ticks, background colours, screen borders and more and each additional enhancement comes at a premium, simply because they make the advert more prominent.

Whenever an advertisement is published, it is meant to gather relevant attention and these enhancements help gain enough attention.

Apart from these, there are certain categories that affect the cost of a classified text, for instance, a name change classified advert is way cheaper than a matrimonial advertisement, irrespective of the location. If the price for a Change of name advertisement of 5 lines in Times of India is Rs.700/- for Delhi, then for the same location a matrimonial ad in Times Matrimonial costs around Rs.3, 400/-

Based on Area
While moving on to the advanced classified ad type, one thing must be made clear that this ad type is published alongside text classifieds, though it is quite different from text ads. It is different in terms of measurement, pricing and even features.

Display classifieds are primarily priced based on the size of the advertisement, generally calculated in terms of per sq.cm unit. There are a few specifications which need to be followed in case of this ad format.

  • The size of the ad is determined by its Length or Height and width of the Column it occupies
  • The length and the width are calculated in centimetres
  • The width is multiplied by the length of the ad which provides a figure in per sq.cm unit
  • This is further multiplied by the rate provided by the publication for every sq.cm which in turn provides the exact cost of the advertisement

Lets take the help of an illustration, for instance, if the rate for a Recruitment classified display advertisement in Hindustan Times is around Rs. 226/- per sq.cm for Mumbai location and the ad specifications are 3 cm (long) and 6 cm (width), then the parameters of the ad would be 6 cm X 6 cm= 18 sq.cm. This, in turn, will be multiplied with the ad rates of Rs 226/-, which will give us 18 so.cm X Rs.226= Rs.4,068.Display Classified Ad

Column Occupied

Each Classified Display ad has certain space limitations but certain advantages have also been added to this ad type so that people with a restricted budget can take its help.

  • Display classifieds cannot occupy more than two columns on a newspaper page, which means that the ad cannot be wider than 6 cm.
  • If the width of the advert is more than this 6 cm, it does come not under the classified ad type but would rather go under display ad type and respective charges would be applicable on it
  • The minimum ad size of a classified display advertisement should be at least 3 cm (width) and 5 cm (length). This refers to a single column display classified ad and can include images, customised logos, headers and footers as well as personally designed ads
  • There is no maximum limit on the length of a classified display advert but the width is limited to 6 cm which makes it a double column advertisement.

In the case of display classified ads, there are no extra charges applicable on insertion of images or logos. But the charges do vary based on whether it is coloured ad or a black and white ad.

There is barely any need to specify the sub-category in the case of this ad format, for example, if a matrimonial advertisement needs to be published in Hindustan Times, the advertiser need not mention whether it is a ‘Wanted Groom’ or ‘Wanted Bride’ ad. The ad matter, images and other information provided in the ad are sufficient to attract the attention of relevant prospects.

Based on your budget you can pick any format which is also conditioned by the kind of attention you need for your advertisement. While text ads are more popular among matrimonial and individual announcement ads like the change of name, lost and found etc, display classifieds are more popular among small and medium businesses, local retail stores, public notices, tenders, obituaries etc.

What is the difference between Classified and Display Ads?

What is the most common format of newspaper advertisements that you see on a daily basis?

If this question is asked to those who are new to the world of newspaper advertising, they would be wondering for quite some time. Very few people beyond the world of media and advertising are aware of the formats in which different ads are printed or published. They are unaware of the pricing criteria, what all can be included in the different formats etc.

On a daily basis, we receive queries from newspaper advertisers, inquiring about the rate of a newspaper ad which needs to be published on the front page and comprises of about only 5-6 lines. This is in itself testifies that advertisers are often unaware of the type of ads that are published on front pages and those that are published in specific classified sections.

As an advertiser, one needs to be aware of the nuances and features associated with the different ad formats that are printed in newspapers in India. Below is a detailed description of the different ad types that are printed across various broadsheets and tabloids.

Types of Newspaper Ads

There are majorly two types of advertisements that publications print-Classified and Display. Each of these ad types has their own specific features and are tailored for different kinds of budgets that fit the requirement of the advertiser.

Classified Ad Type

The reason to begin with this ad type is that it is the most basic and cheapest mode of advertising in Newspapers. Classified ads are published in specific pages that are assigned only to such ads and are placed under separate categories.

There are two types of classified ads:

Classified Text- As the name suggests, text ads are basic run on line advertisements that include only words or text. Classified text ads can be priced based on the number of words, lines or characters that are used in an ad matter. If an advertiser is willing to spend slightly more on text ads to make them more prominent then they can even use ad enhancements. These enhancements are basically highlights that are added to help ad stand out among the rest of the text adverts. The highlights include the following options:

  • Tick– A tick is added at the beginning of the first line to make it more noticeable
  • Screen Border- The entire ad matter is outlined with a thin border to single it out from the rest of the text ads
  • Colour Highlights- Highlights the background consisting the text with the preferred colour
  • Bold and Underline- The selected section of the text or the entire ad matter can be underlined or printed in bold

In the case of text ads, the categories and subcategories need to be specific clearly to ensure that they are printed under the right heading in the classified pages.

For Instance, for a Matrimonial advertisement in Times of India, it is important to specify that the ad should be placed under ‘Wanted Groom’ or ‘Wanted Bride’ section to ensure relevant responses. Also, further classifications based on Caste, Community, Language and Profession can be added for a more refined matrimonial search through classified text ads.

Classified Display- Display classified ads are a more advanced version of classified ad type. This particular ad format is not limited to text or words or characters. It also has the scope of inserting images, company or brand logos, adding customised header, footer, body and border colour and also customised font style and size. These ads are quite prominent compared to classified text ads due to the format they follow. Classified Display ads are available in two sizes:

  • Single Column- Single column refers to ads that occupy only one news column in the classified pages which are about 3 centimetres in width.
  • Double Column-Double column ads are those which occupy 2 news columns in the classified pages which are around 6 centimetres wide.

A display classified ad cannot be wider than 6 cm as per the formats assigned by the publications and are published alongside the text classified ads. These ads are priced based on the space they occupy in the newspaper page and measured in per SQ. cm. unit. These ads are ideal for Obituary messages and even for Recruitment and Retail advertisers with a limited budget.

For instance, an Obituary Advertiser can add the image of the deceased person and add a message in the body of the ad, provide a heading such as ‘Besna’, ‘Chautha’ or ‘Remembrance’ and add the contact details with the address of the event or advertisers in the footer section. While a retail advertiser can put add a store logo along with images, customised header, footer and body colour and font.

Display Ad Type

Display ads are the most extravagant ad type in case of newspapers. They do not have any size or page limitation for the advertiser. Once the appropriate size is specified, the price of the ad can be determined as this ad type too is priced according to its size in the per sq.cm. unit.

Certain Facts about Display Ads:

  • Display advertisements can occupy a full page or be restricted to a quarter of an entire page or else be spread across half a page.
  • It can be published on any page based on the advertiser’s preference with additional charges for choosing the front, back or third page of any newspaper
  • Option for customising the look of the ad with choice of images, logos, header, footer and more is available
  • Ads designed by experts or individuals can also be published under this ad format
  • The minimum ad size should be at least 4 cm X 4cm

This specific ad format is most suitable for promotional and branding purposes for Businesses, Recruitment Drives, Real Estate Projects, Education and even major Retail chains.

For instance, if a jewellery store intends to promote its discounted prices for jewellery sets and other precious metals and gems during Diwali, then they can easily get their ad and logo designed by experts to make it creative and catchy. It should be run as long as the event runs and should also clearly state the contact details and venue of the event within the ad matter.

Such details help advertisers grab the attention of maximum readers and ensure substantial footfalls in their stores. So pick the ad type based on your budget and requirement keeping in mind the features associated with each ad type.