Newspaper Classified Ads: The Unsung Heroes

Contrary to popular belief, newspaper classified advertisements as we know them have existed since the 1600s. However, the evolution of this form of advertising can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian civilisation, where, in around 2000 BC the Egyptians invented outdoor advertising. In around 59 BC, the Romans published the ‘Acta Diurna’, or the “Daily Acts”. 

The first evidence of handwritten news sheets dates back to China in 206 BC. These news sheets were produced by the government and called ‘tipao’. However, it wasn’t until the 1600s that public posters stuck to posts and walls for lost property became commonplace. 

The first newspaper advertisement was published in the Boston News-Letter in the year 1704, even though the first printing press in the United States arrived in 1638 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Over the centuries, the importance of advertisements has only grown. Newspapers, being publications that contain written information about currently ongoing events, have always been in high demand. Newspapers today offer a rich selection of content for readers, catering to each and every taste. Likewise, newspapers have a dedicated section for classified advertisements with the ads arranged according to their ad category, such as matrimonial, property, education, retail, public notice, lost and found, computers, services, etc.

Newspaper Classified Ad

In recent years, more and more people have chosen to go digital, consuming news online on personal devices such as mobile phones and tablets. This has cast doubt on the future of newspapers, especially considering more and more newspapers are now available online, either offering a truncated version of the print publication online, or offering online subscriptions by blocking articles with a paywall. 

Even though there is no doubt that digital is indeed the way forward, newspapers aren’t going extinct anytime soon. Definitely not in India, at least.

For Indians, newspapers have always been an integral part of the household. Elders in many Indian families cannot imagine their breakfast without poring over the latest headlines or doing the daily crossword. Newspapers in India have been treated as a lot more than just a bunch of sheets of paper. They are regarded as reliable and authentic sources of the latest news and a host of other information on a variety of topics. It is no doubt that classified ads are still among the most popular forms of advertising today.

releaseMyAd has been in the advertising industry for more than a decade and is thoroughly conversant with the ins and outs of classified advertising. You can leverage this highly lucrative medium to reach out to your target audience by booking a classified ad online on releaseMyAd’s easy-to-use ad booking platform. With its strategic ad placement techniques and a strong network of advertising partners located across the country, releaseMyAd guarantees you the lowest rates for all your advertising needs.

Newspapers Are not Going Away Anytime Soon – Book Your Newspaper Classifieds!

For centuries, the humble newspaper has been not just been a source of the latest stories happening in a country and around the world, but a treasure trove of a host of other information, such as health tips, opinion pages, short stories, recipes, puzzles, events in and around a city, horoscopes, interviews and of course, advertisements.

Even to this day, as the easy accessibility to a wealth of information has been made possible within seconds thanks to the internet, the newspaper is still widely regarded as an authentic, trustworthy and dependable source of news and other information. Newspapers have, over centuries, been a channel for the widespread dissemination of information, for influencing public opinion and as a medium of advertising.

A less obvious reason that newspapers will still remain a popular form of media in the foreseeable future is because of the sheer aesthetics of the newspaper itself. Nothing beats the look and feel of a newspaper in print, regardless of the ease and swiftness of finding all the necessary information online. The sheer feeling of holding a newspaper in one’s hands and turning each page one by one, reading text on paper and the ability to keep it as an object for posterity are impossible to be substituted by information presented on a screen.

Additionally, in a country like India, a large number of people are still technologically challenged and unfamiliar with the internet. The newspaper is the default choice for them.

The very purpose of advertisements has always been to educate, inform and encourage prospective customers to purchase a product or service. Newspaper classifieds are a very common form of advertising that are significantly cheaper than other advertisements in a newspaper which take up a lot more space and are more elaborately designed. As the name suggests, classified ads are called so because they are arranged on the basis of their specific ad category, such as matrimonial, education, property, retail, public notice, etc. Classified ads have existed for over two hundred years and is one of the most popular forms of advertising even today.

Newspaper Classified

These ads are usually very short, and they are typically charged on the basis of number of lines or number of words. They are one column wide and contain all the relevant information in a small space as well as details of how to get in touch with the person or organisation who placed the ad. 

That being said, newspapers are here to stay, even with the raging digital revolution. So don’t worry, book classified ads online through releaseMyAd and get your message across to your chosen audience. Whatever your message is, you can always rely on a newspaper classified to make yourself more visible. releaseMyAd is India’s largest self-service ad booking platform with over a decade of experience in the ad booking industry. Whichever newspaper you want to advertise in, releaseMyAd makes booking online classified newspaper ads a seamless and hassle free experience. With its network of advertising partners located across the length and breadth of India, releaseMyAd is proud to guarantee you the lowest rates for all your advertising needs.

Newspaper Classifieds: A Lifeline for Millions!

Classified advertisements are a form of advertising that is most commonly seen in newspapers. These advertisements are much cheaper than other larger advertisements (such as display advertisements, which take up a lot more space and contain more elaborate designs). Classified advertising has existed for over two hundred years, and still remains one of the most popular forms of advertising. 

Classified advertisements are typically short, as they are charged on the basis of number of lines or number of words used. These ads are one newspaper column wide and an average classifieds page in a standard broadsheet newspaper can contain over 60 classified ads.

Classified advertisements are very easy to book as all one requires to do is compose a short copy of the advertisement, containing all the relevant information as well as one’s contact details. For those seeking to design more complex advertisements or with more elaborate designs, many publications and agencies offer specialised services.

Classified Advertisement

The ease of booking a classified ad helps individuals as well as small business owners reach their respective target audiences by focusing on the specific ad category, such as property, vehicles, retail, public notice, matrimonial, business etc. This makes the advertisements attractive to people who are serious about transacting with you. Another major advantage of classified ads is that of localised targeting. If you want to sell machinery or car parts in Kochi, placing such an ad in the Kochi edition of a national newspaper or a local newspaper that is circulated in Kochi is most effective as your customers are located there.

In India, a very large number of people run family businesses, small proprietorships or are traders. Classified ads are an extremely important medium for them to advertise as they often lack the budgets for advertising in other media spaces such as billboards, TV or radio. Classified ads are also extremely helpful for a host of other purposes such as personal ads, lost and found ads as well as ads that must be published as a legal requirement such as change of name ads. These ads all appear in the classifieds section in a newspaper.

Book your newspaper classifieds through releaseMyAd, India’s largest self service ad booking platform with a strong nationwide presence and a wide network of advertising partners across India. releaseMyAd, with its more than a decade of experience in the ad booking industry, helps you reach out to your target audience in your chosen location. Offering you guidance and support with booking your ad right till the time your ad is successfully published, releaseMyAd helps to make booking your newspaper classified ads online a simple and seamless process.

The History of Classified Advertisements

Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is commonly visible in newspapers, magazines, periodicals and over the internet. They are short advertising messages, generally grouped under specific headings (known as classifications, classes or categories), in a separate section, and may be charged or distributed free of cost. 

Newspaper Classified Ad

Generally, termed as “want” ads, classified advertisements are relatively cheaper as the content is short and are charged on the basis of characters, words or lines. The following is a brief history of classified advertisements :

  • Public Notice Carving :

The oldest form of classified ads can be traced back all the way to 2000 BC, when the Ancient Egyptians invented outdoor advertising as they carved public notices into steel. They also made use of papyrus to create sales messages and various wall posters.

Later, in around 59 BC, the Roman Empire started publishing Acta Diurna (Daily Acts) or government announced bulletins, as ordered by the then Roman general, Julius Caesar. They started carving the notices in stone or metal (since these were the most commonly used materials back then) and posted them in public places.

  • Handwritten News Sheets :

During the Imperial China period, court officials made use of news sheets, referred to as “Tipao”, which were produced by the government. This was during the late Han dynasty. Tipao, which literally meant “reports from the official residences,” were a publication issued by both the local and the central governments in imperial China. These publications dated as early as 206 BC – 220 BC (Han Dynasty).

News Sheets were handwritten on silk and strictly meant to be read by government officials only.

  • Public Poster Advertisements :

The first handwritten notices date back all the way to the 15th century. These notices used to appear in various public places, nailed on numerous posts and walls in England.

During the mid 1600s, notices for lost property had become extremely common. Also, it was during this period when the handbill emerged in England. The handbill used to be a small printed ad, notice or announcement distributed by hand.

  • Newspaper Classifieds :

The form of classified advertisement which is known to us today, was first recorded in the year 1704, when the very first newspaper advertisement was placed in the Boston News-Letter, on the lookout for a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, Estate. This ad literally marked the birth of newspaper classifieds. About 14 years later (in 1718), the weekly Jamaica Courant followed the trend in Kingston.

By 2007, about 6,580 daily newspapers in the world selling around 395 copies a day already existed. The newspaper industry continued to grow until 2008, when economic recession posed a setback to the entire world. The worldwide economic crisis, coupled with the rapid growth of internet-based alternatives, saw a serious decline in newspaper advertising and circulation of diurnal newspapers. In fact, most papers had closed business while others had cut back operations.

With the continuation of increase in online classifieds, newspaper’s revenues from classified ads continued to drop. In 2007, classified advertising for some of the largest newspaper chains had dropped by a good 14-20 percent, while traffic to classified websites grew by 23 percent, clearly showing how online classifieds were gaining more popularity than the newspaper classifieds.

According to NAA, between 2002 and 2012, classified advertisements suffered a major decline accounting to around 71 percent (from $15,898 to $4,626 in revenue). This decline was mostly attributed to the emergence of web-based classified alternatives.

  • Online Classifieds :

By the year 1995, the internet disruption of classified ads started. Two new companies were established in 1995: AdOne and Craigslist. AdOne is known to be one of the oldest classified websites in the world.

Craigslist is another site held responsible for popularizing online classifieds. Craigslist is a classified ad website where the ads are classified into different sections. Today, there are hundreds of alternatives and free online classifieds to choose from.

  • Social Classifieds :

Multiple social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, and others started offering a platform for social classified ads. These social networks enabled their users to promote sales for products and services within the social network.

In May 2007, about 3 years after the launch of Facebook, the Facebook marketplace was introduced, allowing users to post classified advertisements without being charged. These free ads fell within the following categories – Housing, For sale, Jobs, and Other.

In March 2009, a new version of the Marketplace application was launched. Oodle, an online marketplace based out of California, powered the new version.

  • Classifieds on Mobile Phones and Tablets :

With the introduction of smartphones and tablets, posting and searching on online classified platforms became a growing trend. Currently, there are over 300 mobile apps for classified advertising on the iPhone and Android alone, competing for a strong clientele base. Responsive websites like www.releasemyad.com adopt any device, irrespective of the size or orientation. The mobile application further enhances the process of booking classified advertisements online.

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.

Matrimonial

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.

Property

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.

Announcements

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.

Personal

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.