Bulletin photos by
Mike Blinder and
three of his clients discuss their successes with digital advertising.
Some ad successes defy
dire economy, the digital way
“Newspapers are not
dead. Digital is cents of every print dollar. We’re doing fine,”
according to Mike Blinder.
Blinder, president of The
Blinder Group, based in Tampa, Fla., and three of his clients stood
before an audience of about 40 people Friday, Feb. 10, at the 2012 New
England Newspaper and Press Association convention to discuss their
success despite the recent decline in newspaper revenue.
Blinder began the session,
titled “Real world multimedia ad revenue success stories from
2011,” by describing the mentality the owners of a newspaper have
to have to be successful.
“In times like this, the pie doesn’t expand. You fight for
every piece. We’re at war,” Blinder said.
Although Blinder said he
agrees that there is definite pressure on newspapers because of the
current economy, he gives no credibility to the common phrase, “Newspapers
He stressed using innovative advertising methods on the digital front
to increase revenue significantly by attracting big-product companies.
Catherine Nelson is vice
president and general manager of the Rutland Herald and the Times Argus
of Montpelier and Barre, all in Vermont. Nelson sought to increase the
newspapers’ revenue and turned to the Blinder Group for assistance.
Together, they developed a series of the typical ads that appear on
the sides and edges of most Web pages, but with a twist. Companies that
advertise with the Rutland Herald or the Times Argus have an option
to have their ads link to an online directory, VTBUSINESSFINDER. Because
the directory is affiliated with a dominant local website, a company
listed in the directory has more of a chance of showing up near the
top of the search results from Google or Yahoo or other search engines.
The advertiser piggybacks off the popularity of the local directory.
Such search engine optimization is crucial to creating attractive advertising
offers, Blinder said.
“Yellow Pages died. It’s dead. They just don’t know
it yet. Google and Yahoo are the directories of the future,” Blinder
The next panel member, John Krivosheyff, director of sales development
at Digital First Media, based in New York City, took a different approach
with the ads Digital First was selling.
after enlisting the help of the Blinder Group, was to “go head
to head with broadcast advertisers.”
Krivosheyff wanted an effective
means to compete with effective advertising methods broadcast advertisers
use to create vibrant commercials. Krivosheyff said he thought that
the Blinder Group was able to give him just that.
Blinder explained how his company did so. The Blinder Group offers a
package in which a video advertisement is embedded in place of a simple
image on a Web page. At the end of each video, there is room to embed
six widgets. The widgets can link to anything, from social networking
sites to the product’s own site.
The idea behind that type of ad is to draw the reader’s eye to
the moving visual and then encourage additional investigation of the
product. Krivosheyff said that method is more effective than television
commercials because viewers of the Web visuals are not able to skip
them as they can TV commercials. Even if most viewers ignore the online
video ads, there is a greater chance that the video ads will reach more
customers because they are constantly in view.
“The average DVR customer
skips through 60 percent of commercials,” Blinder said.
He described the ad in laymen’s
terms: “We’re simply taking the flat ad and putting it on
Krivosheyff has noticed that most of the businesses that advertise with
Digital First Media consistently renew the widget-laden video ad package.
The last panel member to speak was the chief executive officer of RadarFrog,
Shannon Dunnigan. RadarFrog, a division of GateHouse Media Inc. based
in Fairport, N.Y., is an online membership rewards and shopping platform.
It allows companies to advertise to sell their products by negotiating
deals that will attract customers.
In that type of advertising, the viewer is not simply offered a product,
but a specific deal that has a greater chance of influencing the decision
to buy something. To be successful, the deal has to be a good one, Blinder
About 40 people attended the workshop on ‘Real world multimedia
ad revenue success stories from 2011.’
Benevento is an undergraduate student in the Northeastern University
School of Journalism