Print is alive and well at News Corp's Australian tabloids, with technical teams literally head-over-heels with innovative ideas to support advertisers.
An unusual imposition for the Brisbane Sunday Mail enabled a couple of 120mm advertising ribbons to stand out at the foot of the pages, and this weekend, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph impressed readers with a translucent wrapper linked to the launch of visiting UK soccer team Arsenal's apparel upgrade.
"We're doing quite a number of these kind of promotions," says national business development manager Gary Woodside. "Three-quarter wraps, which allow the masthead to present above the wrapper, are also quite popular and have been used for Harvey Norman advertising in our community papers."
The banner execution has been running around the country at all News metro sites, but with limited colour capacity on the double-width Murarrie presses in Brisbane, a "reverse" imposition and a 1335mm reel size - a three-quarter reel plus the 120mm ribbon - were needed to deliver the positioning.
The whole of the 88-page (collect) main book was effectively printed "upside down" with the banners placed ahead of pages five and 27. "The ribbon ran well on press and through publishing," says operations leader Jeremy Rowe.
A side effect was that folder pinholes and lap appeared at the front of the book, and inserted supplements appeared reversed, but few readers noticed these details and advertisers were apparently well pleased with what would otherwise have been a tricky execution.
The newer, larger manroland Geoman presses at News Chullora print site had fewer problems for last Saturday's (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, where a translucent wrapper for apparel brand Puma marked the launch of new away strip for Arsenal Football Club, which is currently on tour in the city.
The design placed an ornate frame and the advertiser's branding over a group photograph of team members. A dynamic presentation ahead of page 29 also used the transparent stock to promote the Tele's latest subscription offer.
Production leader Steve Hainsworth sent us a couple of shots of the product, printed on 63gsm Glama-press. The German-made substrate from the Schoellershammer mill in Düren requires special treatment, being sensitive to temperature and moisture fluctuations, but ran without incident.
Woodside says advertiser interest in special print promotions remains strong, and News teams around the country have been ready to respond with innovations as required.