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Message in a paper: If you’ve wanted your birthday to make news

There is no better time than today to innovate in print with truly clutter breaking ads.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jan 17, 2017, 06.21 PM IST
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Message in a paper: If you’ve wanted your birthday to make news
MUMBAI: In a country where it’s not uncommon to see billboards and newspaper ads wishing the offspring of a local politician the best on the day of his first shave or hoardings with birthday greetings for Tuffy (the family pooch), a personalised message on the front page of a national daily might not be such a big deal. But in Singapore it is.

Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) new Personalised Print product allows readers to publish personalised messages on the front pages of its publications, on any date in advance. That’s how Cassandra Sim made the front page of The Straits Times on her birthday. A representative of SPH tells BE that the response to the new product has been encouraging. “Print is a tangible product. People are naturally inclined to buy into what they are able to touch and feel firsthand,” says SPH’s Hector Tan, “hence print still holds its place as a valuable source of information and current affairs despite the multitude of options available online.” In Singapore, Nielsen Media Index shows that at least two-thirds of the population has read a daily within the past week. This figure has remained consistent even as digital consumption grows. Tan says, “Stats in our market also show that the median time spent reading per daily title stands at 44 minutes for print. The consumption of digital content is fragmented although it is free, and the time spent reading is very short across the board.”

There is no better time than today to innovate in print with truly clutter breaking ads. And one needn’t always use codes or voice-boxes to do so. One of the most shared ads of 2015 was low on tech but high on creativity: a shadow of a dragon across a double-page spread in The New York Times. That’s how HBO fanned Game Of Thrones mania before the premier of a fresh season. In our humble opinion, that would have made a great ad for a mosquito repellent as well. Just replace the shadow of a dragon with that of an insect. For those willing and able to experiment, the possibilities in print can be endless, unless of course you’re all out of creativity.
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