Finding a newspaper these days is like finding a unicorn. Most papers have migrated and enhanced their readership by creating online papers. This may be a bonus benefit for companies that are advertising because print ads can come off very flat, even in color. Most digital ads have a nice color pop, if designed well.

For this assignment, I took to the online print version of the Durham, North Carolina paper – The Herald-Sun. My method was to click through the different sections of the paper and see what types of advertisement appeared in those sections. I wanted to see if they were different (or the same) depending on the section of the paper that I was in. There were some ads that showed up in multiple sections.

What I also noticed was that these ad spaces allowed the paper to rotate ads in the space dedicated area. I couldn’t figure out the algorithm or timing, but I am sure there is a method.

NewChic : Health Protective Gear

The name of this company and what they were advertising confused me because I wouldn’t think to purchase health protective gear from a place called NewChic. I was amazed when I went to their site because this is the type of shift that businesses have to make when major economic shifts happen.

This ad showed up on the front page and also under the Coronavirus section. They used an image of items that everyone is looking for, even hospitals.

Ordinarily, this company would be selling fashion. They obviously know that their customer’s focus right now is not primarily fashion, it’s health. But this was a smart move. After you drive people to your site for items that are extremely hard to come by, they will most likely keep shopping for things that they can use when the stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Objective: Sell product
Target Market: Adults
Call to Action: Protect Yourself During the Pandemic
Value Proposition: Safety. The current pandemic that is COVID-19 has everyone’s health at risk. This company is offering items that are hard to come by.

Blundstone: Seasonal Clearance

Until this ad, I’d never hear of this company. I have seen shoe that look a lot like these same shoes in their ad, but I’ve never even seen the name of the brand.

This ad, located in the ‘Living” section caught my eye because (1) they are having a sale and (2) they are intentionally telling us that they have been in business for 150 years. I clicked on the ad.

At the very top of the page it read: “free shipping and returns”. That is appealing because I have not purchased items that had more expensive shipping than the product itself.

On their website, the images displayed all types of lifestyles being lived in their brand. Their navigation menu was simple: women, men, kids & youth, work & safety, and our story.

Objective: Sell product
Target Market: Adults
Call to Action: Purchase Our Brand
Value Proposition: Trust. A company that has been in business for 150 has to bring a solid brand to the table.

Lilienthal Berlin: The L1 ‘All Blue’

This was the only add that popped up on any of the subpages for the sports section. The sports section of the paper include a subsection for All Sports, NCCU, Duke, NCSU, UNC, Durham Bulls, High School Sports, Auto Racing.

This ad was on the Duke page. It is no secret that Duke fans live far and wide, but Durham is the home of Duke. There is a following that crosses cultures, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and genders.

Lilienthal Berlin strategically advertised this “All Blue” watch on Duke’s subsection of the paper. Although the isn’t 100% Blue Devil Blue, it would certainly catch the eye of a fan that is committed to subtly supporting their team by wearing colors that represent.

“Made in Germany” doesn’t only sound good, but also promises you the very best. Our watches are made in Germany and embodies both urban lifestyle and exceptional quality. “Made in Germany” stands for master craftspeople and Bauhaus architecture, precise short passes on the soccer field and a refreshing beer after work. For culture, creativity, and pioneering spirit, and, above all else, for reliable precision workmanship. “Made in Germany” also means that we know the people we work with daily very well. This is why we know that you can rely on our L1 to always tell you the right time, but also that it can be worn with a good feeling.

Objective: Sell product
Target Market: Professional Adults with Classy Taste
Call to Action: Purchase Our Brand
Value Proposition: Quality. Low prices can sell products, but to a sophisticated audience, quality will sell more. This company “Made in Germany” – clearly state by the name of the brand – screams quality product. The image of the products also looks anything but cheap. Dress it up or dress it down.

Annie Cloth: Just Breath

This ad includes 5 pictures of women in fashion and a description of up to 45% off. The very center image says, “Just Breath”. This a message! We are all thinking about something as simple as breathing. Some are thinking about breathing too much and the fear of contracting COVID and others are not breathing enough because of anxiety.

The shirt has double meaning in the “Coronavirus” section of the Herald Sun. The ad itself is attractive because it is showcasing fashion for a summer that we all hope to have.

Objective: Sell product
Target Market: Women, Men with Girlfriend/Wives
Call to Action: Just Breath, Be Kind and Purchase Our Brand
Value Proposition: Hope. It took me a while to find that word, but I believe that message is more apparent than the naked eyes sees. While this ad could be relevant at any point in time, it is very relevant at this point in time.

The Grove Durham: Luxury Townhomes

This ad was located on the Entertainment section of the newspaper. It was fairly understated and almost blended into the rest of the page.

What caught my eye was the bold tangerine colored “Request Info” button in the center of the add. It forced me to read the rest of the advertisement for 1-4 bedroom townhomes starting at $434,000. Wow! I had to know where these modern looking townhomes were located.

The simplicity of this ad drew my attention and the potential property value pulled me in. This ad was listed on a page where they where they advertise national and local entertainment. Downtown Durham is the home of DPAC, a well known performing arts center.

Owning a townhome downtown within walking distance of DPAC would be a great investment and also super convenient for a place to live or a investment property home.

Objective: Spark interest in real estate
Target Market: Realtors, Investors, or Adults
Call to Action: Live Downtown
Value Proposition: Investment. Downtowns across the United States, especially in North Carolina are being revitalized (gentrified) left and right. The property value of downtown dwellings are shooting up and there is no indication that it will be dropping anytime soon.

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  1. I agree with you that our concept of newpaper ads has shifted over time. There are a lot of people who don’t pick up physical paper these days. It is interesting to see how advertisers are shifting to provide new ads as part of the online systems. What intrigues me about this is that many of these banner ads are limited in the type of layout they have available based on the screen size of the viewer, whether it be a web page newspaper or something like an rss feed type system. It is good to see that marketers are still able to come up with creative ideas to capitalize on what real estate they are given.

    1. Hi Colby,

      Thanks for chiming in here, too. I wouldn’t even know where to find a physical newspaper! It is interesting that you noticed the layout of the ads, too. Most of them felt oddly sized to me. It may be that I am looking at it on a desktop that has a pretty big screen. The newspaper readership may be mobile based. If that is the case, the ads probably look much more “normal” on a smaller device.


  2. Elaina,
    I liked that you chose something local to get your ads for this assignment. I agree with you that print advertising has certainly changed over the past couple of decades. The “old school” approach to advertising just doesn’t reach as many people as the online pay per click style advertising that is now prevalent. Good job analyzing each one of these advertisments.

    1. Jake,

      Thanks for your engagement. I am a big supporter of local for most things. I wanted to take the blinders off in my city for these ad assignments, where I could. It made me think about the different business that I may not have been exposed to because of what I would typically be drawn to. It was eye opening.


  3. Hi Elaina,

    Interesting idea to check a newspaper’s websites to get their ads, I hand’t thought of that. I like how you also called out the section of the paper/website where the ad was located. It lets us know more clearly who the target market is. I also have to agree with you that when I see an ad that mentions a sale, or a price, it is more likely that I will focus on it. My favourite ad might be the apartments because they know that their location makes them more appealing to people who would go to the DPAC, and they placed their ad where those people would see it.

    1. Jacob,

      I had no idea where I was going to find a newspaper, except online! Seeing the variety of ads that our classmate did made me think about how different even digital versus print newspaper ads are. With digital you actually have a footprint for the impact. Unless you have a dedicated URL, email address, or phone number associated with your ad, it would be hard to measure the success of a print newspaper ad.

      Thanks for your response!

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