Written by Kateri Foley

The pairing of traditional print media with digital media continues to prove how both types of media can work together to create an interactive and engaging user experience. A fast-growing trend in digital media is augmented reality. Augmented reality takes an existing environment, such as a printed piece and superimposes digital images, sounds, and videos which can be viewed through the camera of an iPhone or tablet using an augmented reality app. Many brands are beginning to utilize this technology to create a more interactive experience for their audience.

An example of where augmented reality was utilized with printed media was by The New Yorker magazine in May of 2016 with their “On the Go” covers. Using an app called UNCOVR you could use a mobile device to scan both the front and/or back covers to bring the imagery on the cover of the magazine to life. A video of this campaign can be found here.

As you can see in the video, the art comes to life with dimensional views of buildings, and the commuter jumping onto the subway, then watching the subway car take off into the dark. This type of experience can help a brand communicate their messaging even further by creating a story within the app.

Many argue that print is a dying media due to its limitations compared to digital media. However, using augmented reality to complement a printed piece allows a brand to engage with their audience on a deeper level. Telling a more detailed and thorough story will make the printed media even more valuable, as well as offering the ability for someone to save the printed piece and refer to it at another time allowing for unlimited exposure. The combination of the two offers the best of both worlds. Print is a non-intrusive advertising medium, but can be limited in how much a singular print piece can communicate. But if you pair that with interactive digital media, it truly expands the content that a brand will be able to share with an engaged audience. In a world where consumers are advertised to through so many different vehicles, creating the ability to speak to someone that is engaged with your brand and your marketing material is very valuable.

Augmented reality and print can be a very complimentary team, and can offer brands a great way to interact with their target audience.

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