Newspapers have several essential components that keep them going. Beyond the obvious (news itself) are other contributing factors to keep a publication in service. Sometimes it’s readership alone is not enough. Newspapers have long turned to advertising dollars to help produce their paper. The advertisements themselves vary depending on the time, location, and readership of the newspaper. Open up today’s edition of the New York Times, Daily News, and El Diario. Tell me, how many advertisements you see?
I am certain that you will say “plenty,” if you did you would be right. Now examine the size, look, brand, entry, and anything else you can think of in that/those advertisements. By looking around you can clearly see, who is essentially running that newspaper (or anything else that relies on advertisement). As advertising dollars are moving away from print and going towards the Internet this rapidly changes the way we read and consume news.
Papers that are littered with ads could have a negative effect on the reader. Reading a newspaper vs. going online to read content these days has become a labor of love. When one stumbles upon an advertisement online, it is easy to dismiss it by simply clicking the “xing” it away. With physical media you cannot simply make an ad go away, thus newspapers must be careful in what and how much they advertise, along with how much of it they do. Publications allow advertisement in an assortment of ways, from full-page ads and corner advertisements to mini magazines and cards within the paper.
Demographics play a large part in media and advertisement. In the El Dario (a newspaper for the Hispanic community) newspaper you will see advertisements form legal, cosmetic health, and local bakeries. The majority of the advertisements within the El Dario are in Spanish with a few exceptions like a New York City civil service exam and Resorts World Casino. Obviously culture comes into mind when you are considering what to advertise.
The classifieds are always fun to read, there is a ton of content in these sections including jobs, health care, and of course advertisements! This section includes ads about immigration, jobs, and divorce court. The jobs focused are chauffer, parking-lot attendant, and home attendant. These are jobs that already many Hispanics already have, and the paper is pushing the community that way.
If you have ever watched, heard, or read advertisements gauged towards the Hispanic community, you know that they are big, bold, and colorful. They sometimes also contain sexually suggestive material. On the front page of the paper the first advertisement you see is not very large, but rather very cleverly placed. The advertisement is for a local law office (talk more about that later), written in white and gold it takes up a small portion of the front page. It is about three inches long and an inch high. Though the letters aren’t very big the color is eye catchy.
Now here is where the genius comes in. The advertisement is on the bottom right corner of the page. This paper was printed like a magazine, so it is very easy to hold with two hands. Now as we all know, most people are right-handed. Thus as a right-handed reader I would hold the paper with my right, and than flip the page with my left. Now I don’t know about you, but when I flip the page of a paper I go the bottom right corner and than flip left. Exactly where the advertisement is placed.
Earlier I mentioned demographics, as a Hispanic I know kind of issues and interest that the community looks at. Some of them are obvious like immigration and divorce. Though some are less so. Throughout El Dario I noticed a plethora of law firms advertising their specialty services and what kind of money you could be awarded through a lawsuit. The themes throughout most of them were personal injury lawsuits. Bold claims like “Jacob Oresky and associates” winning awards of up to 18 million dollars for defective scaffolding. Some of the advertisements lean towards the nostalgia of home. Direct TV ran a full-page ad with channels “con tu tierra,” or with your land. Displaying channels from across Central and South America. Sounds pretty standard right? Well their “hook,” is a woman showing plenty of skin. Seeing home not enough? No problem, travel agencies advertise flights to various countries with rates included.
Classified sections are sort of a thing of a past with large publications, you will not find someone’s old Honda in the middle of the New York Times, but in El Dario you may find some interesting offers. One of the most surprising things I have ever seen in a newspaper is an offer for an abortion. El Dario offers several different doctors and options including the abortion pill. As someone who reads often this is an eye opener.
An apparent contrast amongst all three papers that I will review is color. Color-ink is very obvious in a newspaper; all three newspapers approach it very differently. Starting with El Dario, it uses color early and often. Color is prevalent in Hispanic culture, thus it is an essential for advertisements throughout El Dario. The New York Times takes color very differently.
Your eyes do not see too much color in the New York Times, as their readership is more interested in text rather than the colors of the rainbow. What you do get is a bombardment of material with the New York Times Saturday edition. Now while coupon cutters may praise the weekend special, the ads here are geared towards a much different crowd. With no front-page ads you flip to page two and “Tiffany & Co” greets you with a beautiful ring(in black and white of course). The New York Times definitely caters towards a demographic with a higher income.
Some of the listings include Tourneau, a luxury watch store; Bang & Olufsen, a high-end home and automobile audio system; and Maserati of Manhattan. All of these items show who New York Times readership is. The paper includes a smorgasbord of flyers from retailers and even a mini-magazine loaded with ads. Another glaring difference between the New York Times and El Dario is consistency.
While the ladder has advertisements of all shapes, sizes and topics all over the place, the New York Times have the majority of its advertisements focused on the particulars. The automobile section has car advertisements; the real estate has buildings, and so on . . . Obviously both publications are conserved with putting ads in their publication, but as while the New York Times reserves its top tenants for the front-page, El Dario is more concerned with who is paying rather than making sense of who is actually reading. I imagine this would lead to more lawsuits, abortions, and immigration cases supported by the publication.
News at its heart was made to be simple something for the everyday man or woman to read. Readership as always plays a big part in the advertisements of your publication, the Daily News seems to have missed the memo. While the New York Times woos you to luxury brands, the Daily News seems to only advertise its own publication. It is not until page nine, where you get a full-page bombardment of cabinets.
Cabinets are a very homeowner focused topic, so are discounted backyard pools, and several discount furniture stores with their own full-page ads offering financing to anyone. No iPhone advertisements here, but page 16 is full of TVs and laptops from foreign brands, some appear to be household names like SONY and Samsung. Right along side are products like Jazz “ 9 in internet tablet,” with a “#c925 camera.” What? This goes back to the “everyday man or woman” I was speaking of earlier, I doubt you will ever see a “Jazz” tablet in the New York Times (or anywhere else for that matter), but I believe most people would want a product that at least Best Buy would stock.
Finally the classified section offers some interesting material, from account jobs with “No experience required” to apartments in Corona, there is something for anyone in this section. Unfortunately people today rarely sell items through the newspaper, so you will not find any yard sale specials here. The classifieds in all publications are an essentially obsolete section. The generation that is growing up today would rarely look in a newspaper for jobs, apartments, or goods.
Now if stories are the life-blood of a publication, than the advertisements are the fuels to keep those stories going. As news moves towards a digital age, advertisers and newspapers are slowly breaking up. Less ads in your news is great, but big publications like the New York Times will not let you see that for free. In order to view their website you must pay a monthly subscription fee. Some may look at this as a bad thing, because information should be easily available to all. Though to keep the stories coming, the stomach has to be full.
(2014, October 13). El Diario, p. 4, 5, 15, 33,34, 39, 44, 45.
(2014, October 12). Daily News, p. 1, 9, 16, 38, 39, 67,68,.
(2014, October 12). The New York Times, p. 1,2,3, 1, 1,