If you’ve ever thought that printed media was old-fashioned or limited, it might be time to think again. Augmented reality is helping savvy marketers to use print as a jumping off point for readers to explore whole new worlds. It’s a vehicle that ties digital and print together, and helps retailers showcase their products in a whole new way. But just what is it and how does it work?
What Is Augmented Reality Print?
To understand how augmented reality can be applied to printed media, it’s best to start by understanding what augmented reality (AR) is. AR is technology that superimposes digital content over the top of the real world. If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go you’ve seen an example of AR!
How Does Augmented Reality Work In Print?
Augmented reality technology can be applied to print using a similar principle to QR codes. Recipients are encouraged to scan certain areas of a printed ad, magazine or mailer to access additional content like videos, 3D images or digital games.
What About Direct Mail?
AR can be applied to mailers just like any other printed medium. As well as enriching the experiences recipients can have when receiving your direct mail campaign, AR also helps make your campaigns more measurable. Additional metrics like app downloads and video views can be used to determine engagement and success of the mailer.
How To Create Augmented Reality Print
Getting AR in print right starts with the design of the printed piece itself. As Target Marketing explain, there are 3 basic principles to creating a design that encourages the recipient to engage with AR elements. These are ease, value and fun.
Firstly, it’s important to explain the actions a user should take clearly and simply. Don’t assume people will know what to do. Tell them and show them exactly what, where and how. Explain what app they need to get, how they get it and where it can be used in the printed media.
Next up, your AR experience needs to offer enough added value to encourage a person to go to the trouble of downloading an app to access it. Finally the experience itself needs to be fun or enjoyable. Sounds simple enough? So how do you actually create an AR experience?
Augmented Reality Apps For Print Media
The AR experience starts with an app that can be downloaded to smartphones, allowing users to scan the relevant content to experience the AR aspects. Generally brands will need to employ experts to help them master a printed project that involves AR. However, the technology is getting more accessible. Apps such as Blippar are helping brands to build their own AR offerings without sophisticated technical knowledge.
Augmented Reality Print Marketing Examples
Ikea Furniture Preview:
Ikea have been making use of AR in their catalogues for some time. In 2014 their ground-breaking app allowed home shoppers to use their smartphones or tablets to overlay 3d images of items of furniture, showing exactly what they might look like in the home.
This type of technology overcomes huge barriers when it comes to selecting large, expensive items like furniture from a printed catalogue. It’s a quick and easy way to get a sense of size and colour, helping shoppers feel empowered to make purchasing decisions.
The New Yorker’s Cover Comes To Life:
The New Yorker made good use of AR in a special issue in conjunction with artist Christoher Niemann. A simple, illustrated cover image could be brought to life using their app Uncovr.
The app allowed readers to access a three dimensional city via the subway that the cover’s character is stepping on to. Readers could explore this city by moving the camera around.
Is AR The Future Of Printed Media?
It’s clear that augmented reality can add another dimension to your printed projects. If it’s used in the right context it can really add to the value of your mailer or printed media. Once the technology becomes more accessible and the general public are more aware of the concept, it might just breathe new life into print and allow you to create strong links between print, digital and the real world. AR could be just what you’ve been waiting for!