How Augmented Reality Apps Can Save Print Advertising

By: Jessica Scott | 22 Aug 2016
Augmented Reality (AR) App in Advertising

PokémonGo isn’t just a gaming fad; it’s the first augmented reality app to go mainstream. The concept is leading to massive breakthroughs how we see the world and use technology to understand it. This could be the tech development the print industry has been waiting for.

Print is Dying Faster Than We Realized

For years now, we’ve heard about the slow, downward spiral of print advertising. It is apparently worse than previously thought. Newspapers in 2015 reported having nearly Recession-level declines in revenue. Overall consumption is down 7% in the last year. Even digital advertising doesn’t seem to be the magic bullet news corporations had hoped. According to Pew Research Center, digital ad revenue has declined by 2% overall and only makes up one-fourth of total revenue.

For a dry-humored look the state of the newspaper industry, I recommend the recent segment from Last Week with John Oliver.

Out of Date Industry Using Out-of-Date Advertising

Ad Blocking Impact Worldwide on Advertising

PageFair’s 2015 AdBlocking Report.

The news and other print media’s digital problems come from many sources. In the digital news realm, they still heavily rely on display advertising. Display ad revenue has dried up globally, with click through rates being only 0.06% of total displays. This is largely due to Ad-Blocking software being a must for modern internet browsing. Coupled with Millennials largely ignoring display ads on sites, print media is seeing sharp traffic declines with these times of ads. Hubspot recently analyzed the state of display advertising, and the results aren’t pretty.

This an industry that is desperately seeking a type of breakthrough advertising technology.

Augmented Reality and the Rebirth of Print Interactivity

We may be seeing a breakthrough in technology that may unite print and digital once again. Augmented reality has become a hot topic, made popular by the mobile device gaming app, PokemonGo. It has revived a discussion how we can use apps to better integrate with print materials.

In 2012, IKEA dipped its toe into AR technology. The company annually publishes its coveted furniture designs every season in it’s catalogue. However, this edition was written with an added virtual browsing feature. IKEA created an app with their agency, McCann, which allows catalogue readers to wave their smartphones over pages. The app reveals furniture interiors, so viewers can get a better look at the storage of the furniture.

Now AR apps have become even more sophisticated. Just last week, Porsche and their agency Cramer-Krasselt unveiled a new app that blurs the line between digital and print. It’s feature in Outside magazine allows views to “test drive” the new 718 Boxster. You can simply wave your smartphone over the ad, download an app, then you’re in your car racing up Switzerland’s Gotthard Pass.

Print Campaigns And The Future

Could this technology finally be the bright spot print advertisers have been waiting for? There is much more data needed before we can tell. Advertisers will need to take a 30,000 view on their campaigns to see where this technology fits. They can easily fall into the trap of what’s “shiny and new,” rather than the choosing the right technology that will suit their clients’ needs.

We know that this technology can drive viewers from print to digital. But a question remains, how would you point digital traffic back to print? Can a technology like this coexist with print advertising? Or are augmented reality apps another pathway away from print in an ultimately digital world? Only time will tell.

Business owners need a digital marketing expert to help them utilize new technologies. For more information how an augmented reality app may be able to help your business, contact me for an analysis of your campaign.