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Expert Q & A

3 Ways Augmented Reality Can Transform Print Marketing

September 6, 2022
November 16, 2021
Kelsey Donk

If you want to launch a print marketing campaign and you also want to make engagement easy, scannable codes are a good solution. But QR codes aren’t for every brand. AR print marketing could be the answer.

Table of Contents

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When Aya Abitbul was editor-in-chief of Bespoke Luxury magazine, she wanted to put QR codes all over the print magazine and make it interactive

“The creative director was like, ‘No, they’re ugly,’” Abitbul told MarketerHire. 

So Abitbul pivoted to augmented reality. Earlier this year, her company, Studio 96, published the first AR-enabled travel book, Kiss & Fly. Instead of scanning codes, readers scan photographs with an AR app to activate a video filter. 

This is the future of print, Abitbul argues. So how can marketers get in on the trend? Here are three ideas.

Print evergreen content that links out to the latest.

Abitbul is currently working on a scannable book for Showfields. The book is all black and white, but when it’s scanned, an AR filter colorizes the images and updates the content.

“It reduces the cost, but it also reduces the waste,” Abitbul said. When people buy the book, they’ll “never [be] done reading it,” because the digital overlays are always changing.

Trade your catalog for AR-enabled, shoppable editorial.

“The future of the catalog is really an editorial magazine,” Abitbul predicts. 

The images in that editorial magazine just happen to be shoppable. 

Imagine a magazine that’s all content and beautiful, shoppable photos — no prices, product descriptions or SKUs. 

To see those details, customers scan a photo with an AR app, and it surfaces a link to an online product page.  

“What you get to print — which is beautiful and it stays forever — is the more creative stuff.” 

Spark FOMO with exclusive filters and audio for print readers.

Haircare brand Prose launched a quarterly print magazine in 2019, featuring illustrations of whimsical hairstyles inspired by… slugs? 

It’s weird, but cool. Cooler: What if scanning the drawing with an AR app launched an exclusive Snapchat filter, transforming the scanner’s own hair into a slug-tastic updo?  

AR makes it possible to link to gated digital content on any print marketing, Abitbul noted, creating a low-lift sense of community — and FOMO — while making it easier to measure print engagement.

Our takeaway?

The divide between digital and print is breaking down. 

Historically, Abitbul said, marketers thought, “we want to put out print marketing, but then what you lose is customer insight.” AR technology could change all of that.

Kelsey Donk
about the author

Kelsey Donk is a writer at MarketerHire. Before joining MarketerHire full-time, Kelsey was a freelance writer and loved working with small businesses to level up their content. When she isn't writing, Kelsey can be found gardening or walking her dogs all around Minneapolis.

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