Venerable Newspaper Blends Inserts With Digital
BOSTON — It wasn’t all that long ago, it seems, when the daily newspaper or mailed circulars were the prime sources of supermarket ads galore. The Sunday and Wednesday editions used to be chock-full of the ubiquitous 25 cents off a can of chunk white tuna, three 2-liter bottles of Coke for $3 and $2 off of a Stouffer’s family-sized vegetable lasagna.
Variable data and the digital age are adding a level of sophistication to the humble insert ad. The Boston Globe is working with customers, including a local supermarket chain, to bring more targeted shopping options to the consumer.
The Globe is employing Kodak Prosper S series inkjet printing heads mounted on their web offset presses to foster this interactive advertising. With the help of database management — which provides insight as to buyer preferences — the supermarket can better cater to the buying proclivities of its customers while developing loyalty programs.
The Prosper S20 imprinting systems are helping to churn out variable promotional codes on the printed inserts for Hannaford Supermarket. These codes take users to a website, where they can obtain coupons ranging up to $25 off of an order of $75. Hannaford, in return, collected certain fields of information on the coupon redeemers — gender, location, income — that enabled it to target future offers.
In a campaign launched last fall, the Globe printed 180,000 unique redemption codes onto the inserts on Wednesdays, which were jetted onto 2˝ sections of the paper while the main press (a Goss double-wide) was running at regular speeds.
Richard Masotta, vice president of operations for The Boston Globe, notes that Kodak Prosper technology has allowed his company to bring insert production in-house for the first time, without the high costs. “By implementing digital printing technology, we can better differentiate ourselves in the market and benefit from stronger attachments to consumers through micro-zoning and better target marketing, which all leads to a stronger vantage point for our customers,” he says.
The campaign allowed Hannaford to test unique coupon offers and increase foot traffic in stores. The Globe is working with a bank and an airline on future projects, according to Marsotta, based on the success of the supermarket’s campaign.
He notes that other than a few tweaks to the creative, Hannaford was extremely pleased with the variable targeting. The exciting prospect, Masotta adds, is that it offers the possibility of revolutionizing newspaper advertising content.
“What we’re talking about is being able to print every copy of the newspaper in a subset,” he explains. “I’m very bullish on it and think it has a very productive future.” PI