Augmented Reality Advertising for Publishers: Coolest Ad Format Ever?

Just when you thought ads could only evolve in imaginable ways, something different comes along. Such is the case with a newer technology called Augmented Reality.

Suddenly mobile and print make a great team.
Suddenly mobile and print make a great team.

Augmented Reality, known as AR for short, does something quite extraordinary — it marries the seemingly incompatible print with digital. This is more than a QR code; it’s a digital, interactive expansion of print media that lets readers use print and digital at the same time. In fact, one depends on the other. This takes advertising to a new level, which means ad revenue might be nowhere near dead or even using its last legs.

Nissan Uses Augmented Reality to Promote the New Altima

The Nissan automobile company worked with Newspapers Canada to create an impressive advertising campaign. Throughout the print publication, Nissan ads appeared on nearly every page. That part isn’t remarkable; it’s what users could do with those print ads that really made jaws drop.

When the audience hovered a smartphone or tablet over the ads, their displays sprang to life with an interactive continuation of the campaign. There were clickable links and videos that let users explore further.

This short video with Suzanne Raitt, VP of Newspapers Canada, revels how Nissan’s Augmented Reality campaign worked.

Imagine the possibilities for your advertisers. Now imagine the buzz AR could generate both for your publication.

Augmented Reality is Versatile

Augmented reality ads are inherently engaging.
AR ads are inherently engaging.

AR isn’t bound to print media, although it’s definitely a shot in the arm for newspapers and any other print material. You can host clever ads almost anywhere, including the side of a coffee cup, explains Business Insider. Where there’s space for the printed ad, a mobile device can open up a whole new experience for the audience.

The appeal is clearly there for the tech generation, but Business Insider suggests that you shouldn’t discount a less tech-savvy audience. Nearly half of all Americans use a smartphone, and most people enjoy seeing something clever and different. Audience engagement with ads could very well thrive in an area where it has lagged in recent years.

Augmented Reality isn’t as new as it seems, but it’s being used in new ways and geared toward new audiences. Where print ads are losing favor with younger readers, print can once again engage and even entertain. That adds up to revenue.

The technology certainly isn’t cheap or simple. But the value of drawing in a print audience can’t be understated. Traditional ads have lost ground for some time, but now there is new hope. Interactive ads capture attention in a way that printed material seldom does, so the future of advertising and revenue generation is looking bright once again.

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