8 responses to “Ad placement: An interesting approach

  1. Lauri Shillings

    I’ve worked at a paper that ran their classified pages this way with great success. This is the first main news section I’ve seen with ad stacks at the top. Not sure if I’m won over.
    My concern: look at Page A18, the weather page. As a reader, I think that the large blue ad with smiling people is the feature photo for the article beneath it.
    I would have run the weather at the bottom, text at the top-but that’s just me.

  2. Kristin Coker

    I have to admit, I’m not a fan. But I can see where advertisers would love this look. And if my paper were predominately an ad paper then I guess it would be fine. But we’re not. We are a newspaper and are in the buisness of reporting the news and making the latest oil spill the main focus. When ads overshadow proper design and readability it kind of irks me as a reader.

    Also, I noticed that you use “filler” spots sometimes to fill the awkward space left behind from the ads at top. Instead of using those, couldn’t you create promotions for something in the paper on another page or something coming the next day? Promoting your paper is key and if it keeps people buying the paper then everyone wins.

    • Kristin: Just wondering why the oil spill would be “the main focus” in landlocked Orangeburg, SC?

    • Kristin Coker

      Ed, I was just reading the oil story online. It was fresh in my head. But I was trying to make the point that putting “news” below ads is irksome. Plus, the oil spill story SHOULD be relevant to a lot of people. They say now that the spill could go around the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. If that happens then a lot more than just the Gulf Coast will be affected.

  3. Larry Austin

    Advertisers love it, but how about the families who read the obits? The thought of running grandpa’s obituary under the tanning salon ad makes me sad.

    We run ads on the back page over editorial, and it’s a pain to lay out. We end up with many instances of the aforementioned fill piece over the world briefs head. Not only are the ads given better position than the stories, the same is true of the fill.

  4. Linda Buhman

    Page A-2 seriously gives me a headache. I have trouble distinguishing the ads from editorial. Maybe if the ads were modular, so none of the copy went up into the ad well, it would “read” better, which is also what Kristin was saying. If you’re going to do this type of thing, you need to have a strong delineation point to separate advertising and editorial.

  5. No one has addressed the headline issue. Why tell the whole story in the headline? I thought headlines were supposed to be the teaser to get people to read the story.
    Also, if you look at the bottom of A17 where the HUMONGOUS AT&T ad is placed, one of the headlines got split in an awkward place… not good for reading. Mom might like reading about a cellphone but the Youth Soccer folk putting on the clinic might be miffed and readers would be confused if not for a minute… for a long time and just not read the story. If you are a NEWSpaper, your focus should be news. I know advertising pays for the news. If you are going to place your ads this way, don’t let the news become an afterthought. (Of course I do see this awkward splitting of articles in papers that have ads at the bottom.) Also the skinny columns for news isn’t good for readers IMHO. As a family member I would really hate my grandpa’s obit looking like that.
    As a graphic designer, I really don’t think this overall approach is good. The design is choppy and I really hate color ads mixed in with black and white. This paper looks chopped up to me. I think the ads detract from the overall look.

    • Kevin McConnell

      You’re right it is choppy looking. The color positions are limited and editorial has several pages that are kept ad free, so we get stuck mixing color ads with black and white ads.

      Obits – I think most people will clip the obit. It’s not likely that the entire page is saved in the family album. We have for many years run the police log next to the obits and I’m sure no one wants to remember “Uncle Harry” and read next to his obit how six people were booked for DUI.

      Headlines – We have seven people in the editorial department, so the writers and editors double as copy editors and page designers, which results in less than perfect headlines. It’s hard to find someone who can write and handle page design at the same proficiency level.

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