Thursday, December 26, 2013

Challenge Accepted: Bringing Digital Experience to Print Advertising

Many have said Print advertising is a dying medium, but this year we’ve seen a few glimmers of hope that one can still innovate in the space. The most recent example is the Moto X ad that emulates its interactive “Moto Maker” right on the pages of Wired’s January issue. Online, the Moto Maker is a tool that allows you to design your phone’s color scheme. On paper, the replication brings a scaled version, but it still delivers on the essence of its advertised experience.

The ad is comprised of a series of paper-thin components, electronics and a screen. And while the ad may be more expense than the average print piece, it also creates way more buzz and impact. Due to the cost, it would seem, Motorola only ran the spot in Chicago and NYC, which suggests that this type of creative is (currently) prohibitively pricey for mass-market/nationwide placements, but it raises the bar for print ads and also for advertisements in the growing eMagazine category. For the past few years, the only way to bridge digital and print has been through augmented reality pieces and QR codes, both of which require smartphones. However, the Moto X ad brings the concept to life without the need for other steps. It takes an otherwise flat image and creates dimension, interest and, ultimately, a true user experience in a way that few have done in the past. This brings up an interesting question, does user experience need to play a bigger role in print advertising? By taking the creative beyond the static image, it forces the creators to not only deliver on form, but also on function. I get excited as media become more blurred and demand greater focus on the user experience.

So what’s next in promotional content? Will this ad spark a trend? Will they take it further and add an element of personalization? They say if an idea works on paper (in-print) then it should work anywhere else. I think the definition of “what works on paper” just got a little bigger.

Check out the video above and let us know if you think this is a passing fad or a paradigm shift. We’d love to continue the conversation!

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