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.

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