The festive season of Navratri and Diwali may be some time away but that hasn't prevented Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar from upping the ante in the state.
Work towards cornering a bigger portion of festival-related advertising has begun in earnest, with the paper dropping its colour ad rates in Ahmedabad city from Rs 825 per column-centimetre of space to Rs 750 per cc.
The initiative was kicked off on August 13 and will stretch right upto Diwali, which falls on November 12.
The rationale for dropping its rates, says Harish Bhatia, senior vice-president, Divya Bhaskar, is to make the paper an affordable option to rivals, apart from increasing colour advertisements. "There are ten colour pages in Divya Bhaskar, and we thought that we could have more colour ads in the paper."
A black and white insertion in Divya Bhaskar costs Rs 690 per column-centimetre of space in Ahmedabad city, which obviously makes a colour insertion an attractive option, given that the price differential between the two is just Rs 60.
"That's the point," says Bhatia. "We want more advertisers to release their ads in colour, since rates tend to be pretty prohibitive otherwise."
Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar have colour ad rates of Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,800 per column-centimetre of space in Ahmedabad respectively. A black and white insertion in the papers costs Rs 860 (Sandesh) and Rs 990 (Gujarat Samachar) per cc, implying that Divya Bhaskar's colour ad rate for Ahmedabad city is even lower than the black and white rates of its arch rivals.
Reacting to Divya Bhaskar's competitive move, Kumar Nirmalendu, senior vice-president, Sandesh, says that it is more of a desperate bid to try and woo advertisers. "At a time, when demand outstrips supply and there are more ads than the number of pages on hand, I fail to understand how a publication can bring down its rates for the period."
Dharmesh Vatsa, head of marketing, Gujarat Samachar, says, " There is normally a tussle between agencies representing various advertisers to have the premium position in the paper. Navratri and Diwali are occasions when advertisers in Gujarat want a maximum share of voice. Quite naturally, they are willing to spend more on advertising."
Despite the flak that Bhaskar's move has drawn from rivals, Bhatia is hopeful of seeing a jump of about 15-20 per cent in advertising revenues for the period. "We have a market share of about 37 per cent in Ahmedabad. Hence, it is natural for me to feel confident about its performance during the ensuing period."
Away from Ahmedabad, the paper is readying itself for its third edition in Baroda on September 11. The print run, claims Bhatia, will be upwards of 2.5-lakh copies - an estimate based on its pre-launch market survey conducted in Baroda city and adjoining districts of Bharuch, Narmada, Panchmahal and Dahod.
Ad rates for the Baroda edition have yet to be worked out, Bhatia says. The Surat edition has rates of Rs 625 per cc for colour ads, and Rs 390 per cc for black and white ads. © 2004 agencyfaqs!