CATS Classified asserts its continued relevance to users of classified advertisements with a new look
Singapore, 17 October 2011 – When Singapore Press Holdings' CATS Classified first started in 1969, the focus was very much on the placement of classified advertisements in The Straits Times over the telephone.
Now, more than four decades later, CATS Classified is a multi-publication product that spans eight SPH newspapers; The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, The New Paper, Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao, Shin Min Daily News, Berita Harian and Berita Minggu. CATS Classified also receives ad bookings through multiple channels including telephone, online and over-the-counter. Today, CATS gets an average of over 180,000 ads per month, or about 2.2 million ads per year.
Changing circumstances and rising expectations from increasingly net-savvy readers have demanded continual product evolution. Focusing on the threefold objectives of brand reinforcement, product improvement and leveraging digital media, CATS Classified has unveiled a renewed product to remain competitive and relevant, and at the same time reinforce its position as the premium marketplace to find, buy and sell a wide variety of products and services.
Given the proliferation of various classified publications, and that CATS Classified is spread across multiple SPH newspapers, brand reiteration and reinforcement serve the purposes of differentiating CATS Classified from other classified platforms and maintaining a prominent and uniform identity across different publications. For this purpose, the CATS branding has been made more salient in its mastheads.
To keep abreast of changing times and to address the expectations of readers accustomed to the choices, variety and interactivity offered by the Internet, CATS Classified has refreshed itself through the following ways:
Previously, Classified's front covers sported a standard layout. To make reading Classified a refreshing experience every day, it now comes in three different front-cover designs for more variety. The new front covers also exhibit a cleaner, more fluid look and feel which makes it easier for readers to browse through the blurbs and other highlights.
Major sections – such as Vehicles, Properties and others – now come in different colours. With colour differentiation, readers will be able to get to the sections they want effortlessly. As for those who browse through the entire Classified product, it will be obvious when they have transited from one section to another. Due to the high volume of ads, the Saturday editions will remain in black and white.
The font size of Romanised text is increased for improved readability. Publications affected are The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian and Berita Minggu. With larger fonts, locating information becomes easier, and the reading experience is enhanced, which will in turn benefit advertisers.
Adopting a theme-based approach, CATS Classified will feature designs and content that are in line with festive seasons and major events (e.g. the Great Singapore Sale, National Day etc.) At its core, Classified is essentially a lifestyle product meant for the enjoyment of its readers. Playing up the mood of the festive season is one of the many ways that infuses a sense of gaiety and light-heartedness into its pages.
Reference materials (e.g. COE tables, property maps and charts), which support readers’ purchasing decisions, are continually updated to give readers the assurance of getting the latest information in a timely manner.
The scope of the editorial articles has been increased to cover more topics and to reach out to a wider range of interest groups.
The regular advertising features have been enhanced with interactive, user-generated content to engage readers on a more in-depth level, so as to maintain reader loyalty.
Streamlining of advertising classes
Obsolete and under-utilised classes have been removed, and new classes added or renamed for CATS Classified to stay relevant with changes.
Leveraging digital platforms
CATS has introduced the QR code for property and vehicle advertisers. Advertisers who purchase the QR code can have their ad and up to seven pictures hosted online by CATS Classified. Such an arrangement not only gives advertisers the opportunity to showcase their products more extensively, but also facilitates readers with more information.
CATS.com.sg (www.cats.com.sg), previously a relatively simple online media kit, has been enhanced to become a comprehensive reference source for both readers and advertisers. Among other things, fresh and prompt updates on CATS Classified promotions and events will be injected into the website, and editorial articles refreshed on a regular basis to sustain interest.
Win $10,000 at CATS Powers Up event
CATS Classified is organising a launch event, during which ten lucky contestants will be picked through lucky draw to vie for the chance to win $10,000. To find out more, view CATS Classified flash-mob videos for clues on date, time and venue; cut out draw coupons (which will be published in CATS Classified from 19 October onwards); then turn up at the event with these coupons. (Please see Annex E for hyperlinks to videos.)
CATS Classified is part of the Marketing Division of Singapore Press Holdings Limited. It offers the most comprehensive marketplace for products, services and employment through CATS Classified in The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao, Shin Min Daily News, CATS Klassified in Berita Harian & CATS Fastads in The New Paper.
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing
In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. Every day, 3 million individuals or 77 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.
Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 265 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; Stomp, omy.sg, and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, and The Business Times Weekend's iPad application.
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Chinese and 91.3FM in English.
Events and Outdoor Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading Digital Out-of-Home advertising company.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. Its latest retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.