What is an obituary advertisement?
Traditionally, an obituary advertisement is an article based on a recently deceased person, carrying a brief biography of the person, their achievements, their death and the family members left behind.
Obituary advertisements are often published in local newspapers as a public notice to notify people of the death of the person and also to inform people about the various services carried out after the death.
Obituary advertisement can take many forms- from a very small note containing 4-5 lines to a half page newspaper obituary advertisement with images and custom design and content. It depends on the intention, objective and budget of the customer.
Unlike other newspaper ads, newspaper obituary advertisements are often requested by individuals/families instead of companies and brands.
Only in certain cases like the demise of a significant position holder in the company, the obituary advertisement is placed by a company/organization.
Why is an obituary advertisement required?
People place obituary advertisement to:
Remember, honor and celebrate the life of their loved ones. Death of a loved one is a painful but emotional event.
This is perhaps the last opportunity for the loved ones to express how much they loved and respected the departed soul and also to remember and celebrate their journey.
Hence, obituary advertisement is different from other newspaper advertisement types.
To notify people (mostly in case of popular/influential person’s death) about the death and details of various functions: In different religions and cultures, there are several rituals that take place after a person’s death.
What makes these functions and rituals important is people’s participation. The family, friends and acquaintances are required to be present there to support the loved ones of the dead.
Obituary advertisements not only act as a notice for such people but also as an invitation for these people as it might not be possible to formally invite all the people.
To inform acquaintances/business associates in case of death of popular/influential person’s death: In case of death of a professional/business person, obituary advertisement is like a public notice to let business associates, clients, colleagues, banks, etc. about the demise so that they can decide on the next steps.
Types of obituary ads – Text and Display
Before we understand what are the elements of a good obituary ad, let’s discuss the different types of obituary ads:
1. Classified Text Obituary Ads
Classified text obituary ads are text ads (in a few lines/words), limited to a single column. Classified text obituary ads are published in the classified section of the newspaper, which are dedicated to a few pages in the newspaper.
In terms of newspaper advertising cost, classified text obituary ads are the cheapest.
2. Classified Display Obituary Ads
Classified display obituary ads are colored display ads (containing images and content arranged in custom design) that are limited to a single column only. Like classified text obituary ads, classified display obituary ads are also present in the dedicated classified pages of the newspaper.
3. Display Obituary Ads
Display obituary ads are similar to classified display obituary ads in appearance but they can take up any amount of space in the newspaper.
This type of obituary ads is usually opted by popular/influential families/organizations or brands. Needless to say, display obituary ads are the most expensive format of obituary ads.
Essential parts of a good obituary ad
1. Announcement of death
The first and most important part of a good obituary ad is about the death, the day, time, place & age of the deceased.
Though it looks simple, the announcement of death is the most difficult part of the obituary ad because it deals with the questions, How to talk about the deceased’s death? What words to use? How to express?
A biography like a resume would contain the most important events, mention of the qualities of the deceased, their milestones, important dates, where they worked, what they liked to do in their free time, what they were like, etc.
It can be either chronological or can be randomly placed in order of importance.
This part involves listing of the family members who are mourning the death of the person. This can be said to be the most important part because it involves a lot of emotion and also a message to the society about who was in good relation with the deceased person and who are left behind by the deceased. Hence, mentioning all the family members in obituary ads is a good practice.
4. Service Times
In every religion and culture, there are a number of rituals that happen after the death. A good obituary must mention these rituals, the venue and timings of them.
5. Special Message
Everything discussed above is generic in nature. Something that can be put into a template too. But this part refers to the special message.
Anything special you would want to say about the deceased or any other friend/family who helped in this difficult time would find their place in the obituary ad.
This section would have a picture of the deceased person.
Following are a few obituary samples from recent issues of Times of India Delhi.
Although all the above images are obituary samples, there are many variations across the entire collection.
The first obituary sample is published by the deceased organization and carries content about the work experience.
The second, third, fifth and sixth obituary samples are like a public notice where the death is announced, the family members are mentioned and the timings of the prayer meeting is mentioned.
The fourth obituary sample is a simple one containing the death announcement. The seventh obituary sample also has a small special message.
Obituary Ads in Newspaper
Placing obituary ads is not a new concept, it’s centuries old hence the most common medium to carry obituary ads is the newspaper. Even before the Internet came into existence, obituary ads in newspapers have been a practice.
Obituary ads in newspapers are often covered under the classified ads section. A few newspapers like The Times of India have a separate section named as Times Tribute dedicated to obituary ads in newspapers.
As discussed earlier, obituary ads in newspaper can be classified text or classified display. In a few instances, they can be display obituary ads too.
Obituary Advertisement in Newspaper
You can place obituary advertisement in newspaper by contacting the newspapers. Following are the top newspapers that accept obituary advertisement:
Times of India obituary ads: Times of India is one of the most circulated newspaper in the country with circulation of 36,26,134. Times of India is an English language daily in the general interest category.
Obituary advertisement in newspaper like Times of India ensure that the news has the highest reach due to the high circulation.
Hindustan Times obituary ads: Hindustan Times is another English language daily newspaper in General Interest Category which is very popular in India. With a circulation of 21,70,000, it is one of the prominent newspapers in India.
Hindustan Times is known for the best advertising rates for obituary advertisement in newspaper.
The Hindu obituary ads: The Hindu is one of the oldest newspapers in India. The language in which The Hindu is circulated is English and it caters to the general interest category. The circulation of The Hindu newspaper is about 15,50,424.
Amar Ujala obituary ads: Amar Ujala is one of the most circulated newspapers in India. Published in Hindi, Amar Ujala has a circulation of 3000000 and is under the category General Interest. You can contact The Media Ant to get the Amar Ujala ad rates for obituary advertisement in newspaper.
Dainik Jagran obituary ads: Dainik Jagaran is another prominent Hindi Language daily newspaper of India. Published under the general interest category, Dainik Jagaran is one of the most popular newspaper for publishing obituary advertisement in newspaper.
Types Of Death Advertisement In Newspaper
There are various types of death advertisement in newspaper.
Following are some examples of occasions/purpose of death advertisement in newspaper:
Besna: Besna means condolence meeting.
Bhog Ceremony: Mostly observed by Sikh, Bhog ceremony usually refers to a funeral service at the end of which karah prasad is distributed.
Birthday Remembrance: This type of death advertisement in newspaper involves remembering deceased people on their birthday.
Chautha-Uthala: In Hindu religion, Chautha-Uthala takes place on the 4th day after death. During this ceremony, bhajans are sung and Rasam Pagri ritual is performed.
Death Anniversary: This type of death advertisement in newspaper involves remembering loved ones on anniversary of their day of death.
Death Announcement: One of the most common obituary ads is announcement of death along with details of funeral and prayer service.
Prayer Meeting: Prayer meeting is conducted to support the grieving family members of the deceased person and pray together for peaceful transition of the departed soul.
Sad Demise: Sad demise death advertisements are like death announcements as well.
Tributes: Special messages for the departed are usually covered under Tributes.
Death Anniversary Condolence Message
After death announcements, death anniversary ads are the most common type of death advertisement in newspaper.
Following are some examples of death advertisement in newspaper for death anniversary:
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