Advertising Supplement

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: September 17, 2019

What is Advertising Supplement?

Advertising supplements are newspapers or magazines that accompany the main newspaper, but instead of featuring editorial or news articles, feature advertisements. Advertising supplements are never sold as a separate entity outside of the main newspaper and are periodical in nature i.e. are not included in the newspaper daily but at regular intervals like once/twice/thrice every week/month.

Advertising supplement is a special section of the magazine, a pre printed section which is later inserted during the regular printing process of the magazine for the process of publication. Supplements contain advertising of all sorts and editorial content as well. It plays a secondary role in terms of the primary or concurrent publication. It is also known as a follow-on publication. Advertising supplement keeps the primary publication up to date and complements it. It enhances the publication by covering a particular topic which requires to have more information in terms of detailed content.


Importance of Advertising Supplement

Advertising supplement whether in a magazine or a newspaper, is important because it keeps the publication up to date. It usually contains specialised information about a certain topic or specifically advertisements related to a certain product. Supplements can be follow-on if they keep publications up to date. Supplements can give information about index catalogues or gaming hobbies, etc. Newspaper supplements on the other hand are more like a weekly section of its parent publication or the primary publication. Advertising supplements are prepared separately for different purposes. Sometimes they contain advertisements related to information about real estate for example, the ads showing flats in huge complexes, their rates and facilities.

Advertising Supplement

These advertising supplements can also contain advertisements regarding automobiles or cell phones. For example, the very regular iPhone advertisements that we see, or the BMW EMI advertisements. These supplements attract the target audience and make sure the message reaches them through these traditional media platforms. Supplements are found on DVDs and CDs as well. They feature special or bonus material and are typically spin offs from newspapers. They are sold separately such as Times literary supplement, etc. These supplements help in showcasing information separately and making sure that it reaches the target audience so that the information doesn’t go unseen in the newspaper or magazine among other articles. This is why supplements cost a lot more than regular advertisements because they provide special space for ads to be showcased and attract way more eyeballs than traditional advertisements.

The advertising supplements may be either local (for a region/city/district) or national.


The ads in these supplements range from automobiles, electronics, real estate, travel to matrimonial. They may be placed in a direct advertisement form as in the supplements published as newspapers, or as an article, which is actually just a paid advertisement, as in some supplements published in the form of magazines.

The advantage of this kind of advertising is that supplements are usually kept for longer time than the daily newspapers which are read and discarded mostly on a daily basis, hence increasing the exposure of the ad. Also, people who read the supplement are the ones likely to be searching for a specific thing, like property. Hence, the chances of converting the ad to sale are higher.


Examples of Advertising Supplement

1. Let’s take for example, Flipkart’s big billion-day sale or Diwali sale. Almost two days prior to the sale and on the day of the sale we see this big blue supplement on the front of our morning newspaper. This supplement contains a lot of information about when the sale will start and for how long it will go on. It has images of different product categories and even the MRP and the discounts of the products mentioned. Different brand-based discounts are also mentioned vividly. The whole reason to put this up on the newspaper separately that too on the first page is to get as many eyeballs as possible. It’s really important to understand that unless people know at that very moment, they will rarely act on it. It is very essential to reach the target audience with the minimalistic cost of advertising.

2. For example, Indian national newspapers such as TOI and Hindustan Times have supplements, like for real estate, matrimonial etc. that are published on a fixed day each week. In addition, they may publish a magazine supplement of cars where they place a number of ads (direct and in the form of articles) by companies like Ford, Hyundai etc.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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