AR and Print Media: spicing up traditional media

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07.04.2020, by Rosie Slayter

Print is dying…isn’t it?

Augmented reality technology has taken print media by storm and has offered a new innovative way to spice things up. For a long time, people were under the impression that print was dying out due to the introduction and takeover of the digital world. 

In the face of this competition, print struggled, but fought back, persevered, and is still of value. In fact, research shows that print is the most trusted form of media as consumers actually pay to view it. Moreover, even the youngest and trickiest generation, Gen Z, are still picking up magazines. This could be because of the attractive images in print, it’s far more appealing, especially to visual learners.

Yet still print was missing something… when reading a magazine article online, users can easily click on displayed links for additional information or visuals, but this isn’t possible with physical print. Similarly, digital media was missing something… it lacked tangibility, something that people enjoy most about newspapers or books is being able to actually hold it and feel it. 

This is where AR comes in to shake things up. The use of AR in print presents the best of both worlds through its combination of digital innovation and physical print. When implementing AR in print, developers can add contextual information, fun visuals and bring a simple 2D page to life. 

AR can be added onto business cards, movie posters, magazine pages or covers, product packaging, print ads and more.

Examples of AR in print media 

Bombay Sapphire worked with Shazam to bring their iconic bottle label to life. When scanned and viewed through a mobile phone’s camera, the packaging is enhanced with colourful animations, sounds to fill the setting and the option to click the screen for recipes that can be made with the product. This completely transformed what would normally be simple 2D packaging into something that was innovative, exciting, novel and interactive. 

Heinz Ketchup teamed up with Blippar, an AR specialist company, to offer their consumers a unique experience and another channel in which they can engage with the brand. They did this by offering an interactive selection of recipes that the product can be used in, all of which can be viewed by scanning the product label with a mobile phone camera. The campaign overall was effective in engaging their consumers and reinforcing their relationship with the brand. 

AR business cards

If you’re now thinking, “yeah, this is cool and all, but what can I do with it?”, then picture this: you’re at a networking event, you’ve got your fancy business cards, but so does everybody else, so how do you make sure your card stands out above the rest? An AR business card is how. 

Using AR in your business card gives you the ability to offer more about yourself than a standard card. You can add anything you want onto it, a short introduction video of yourself, significant projects that you’ve done, special skills that you have. With AR you can turn your basic business card into an interactive and interesting CV that is innovative and novel. 

Final thoughts…

AR can be implemented in so many different ways in print media, it brings digital innovation and the real-world together phenomenally. It introduces interaction and immersion into what would otherwise be a stale 2D piece of print. This increase in interactivity and immersiveness positively correlates to consumer engagement, enhanced brand relationships and loyalty. What’s more is that it is still considered to be in its infancy, which means that those who implement it soon would likely still have first mover advantages. 

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