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How Brands are Creatively Using Technology to Make Print Advertising More Effective

Newspaper and magazine stand RomeIt’s no secret that computers, smart phones, televisions and the like have turned us into a society that consumes media the second it’s produced. We truly have become a “seconds” society – made possible by ever better production, technology and unique and immediate ways to reach intended markets. But wait! Out of all this rises the phoenix of the ad world: Print. Print provides marketers and consumers alike with a viable option for product and brand awareness and campaigns are being restructured with an “outside the box” formula. Since industry estimates now peg the average time a reader spends looking at your ad at 3 to 5 seconds, a successful print campaign now hinges upon eye-catching presentations that are meant to capture and resonate with the audience. Some say that the marketing world has become a tsunami of clutter, but with a little creativity, marketers can cut through that wave and reach their audience.

Time to Combo-up

Incorporating technology in print advertising is not yet common, but let’s take a look at how CBS and Pepsi Max did it when they embedded a video player in a print magazine ad. Entertainment Weekly readers were treated to an unorthodox ad featuring audio and a quarter-inch-thick video screen presented like a pop-up book. Readers pulled a tab and out came the video player and next thing they knew, they were “watching and hearing” the brands’ messages. Here CBS and Pepsi Max successfully managed to combine two marketing vehicles into one, creating a truly hybrid ad. The ad and video clip previewed CBS’s Monday night (fall) lineup and delivered an inside look at some of the featured characters, followed by an ad for Pepsi Max. Another good example of technology in print is Playboy Magazine featuring an audio print ad on the cover of its June 2011 publication in Brazil to promote Brazil’s Skol Sensation music festival. The “ad” included an embedded audio chip and was actually wrapped around the spine of the magazine. Users simply plugged-in their headphones to listen to a woman whisper a message about the festival. These multi-sensory examples show how a few brands who were willing to reach beyond the traditional medium to expand static print ads achieved success – and generated buzz. We know that the more unique the ad, through visuals and copy points, the more effective that ad has the chance to be. Within print, we are limited to that 3 to 5-second window to grab our audience – however, by integrating new mediums with traditional we can deliver more precise messaging and mix subtleties and deeper meaning, and reach our audience more effectively than ever. In this “seconds” society readers want more than to simply be passive readers – they want to be experiencers. Our job as marketers and advertisers is to deliver that experience.
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