Virtual and augmented reality are impacting the world of print.
Editor’s Note: This the forth of five “Imaging Reality Check” posts, each anchored by and featuring one of five videos that illustrate the examples of innovative and dynamic use of print by McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Garage Magazine, TAM Airlines (On Board magazine), and Abraxas AB (an “adult beverage” manufacturer).
When you hear the term “virtual reality,” the odds are good your first thought isn’t about print. It’s probably not even your second or third thought. But virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is where many brands are starting to turn when it comes to marketing their services and products. And that means print needs to follow.
Before we look at the ramifications for print, let me get one disclaimer out of the way: I absolutely am a “tech geek.” I love playing with all the latest and greatest gadgets, I follow tech industry news, and I am a sucker for an unboxing video. I am admittedly not what you would call unbiased when it comes to loving technology. On the flip side, I love print. I love holding it in my hands, I love getting it in the mail, I love feeling it when I come across interesting substrates, and I have a habit of trying to touch almost every printed item I can. So it is safe to say that the idea of merging print with technology is one that has me beyond excited.
And I’m not the only one.
It is truly exciting to see how brands—and by extension printers—are finding new and innovative ways to merge the print and digital worlds. I went down the rabbit hole and found some truly amazing examples to share with you that seamlessly blend the printed piece with a wide range of VR and AR technologies to create experiences that get people talking. The future of marketing is in this kind of creative warping of reality, and printers—and their partners—that can not only think outside of the box, but also redefine the very walls of the box itself will be the biggest winners tomorrow.
Abraxas Ab (Adult Beverage)
This is another notable example of “hacking” the print process and using digital technologies to bring it to life. Abraxas Ab, an “adult beverage” manufacturer, worked with printers to create a stunning marketing campaign. They ran a magazine ad that, at first glance, just looked like an all-black sheet. But when users put their smartphone’s flashlight behind the page, they discovered a hidden message: an entire advertisement was hidden behind the black. It is a truly creative way to get readers engaged with both the magazine and the brand, and got people talking, which, after all, is the whole purpose of a good marketing campaign.