The Interactive Magazine: A New Spin on a Traditional Medium

March 16, 2011 by Sarah Legg

As a journalist, I will always find it hard to let go of the printed product. I love print ads. I love the excitement of receiving a new magazine. I like to read books and highlight passages or ideas I find interesting. With new technology dominating industry news, blogs and the marketplace, the prophetic demise of the printed product has been mentioned on more than a few occasions. Lately, however, the so-called “death” of the printed magazine hasn’t seemed so ominous with the incorporation of interactive apps on the pages inside.

One of my favorite magazines, Beer West (formerly Beer Northwest), adopted Digimarc’s technology for its inaugural issue. Throughout the magazine, smartphone users can use the free iPhone or Android Digimarc Discover app to “scan” pages and advertisements featuring the Digimarc “d”. This gives a whole new spin to print advertising. An advertiser receives more value for its ad spend by packing interactive features into its advertising. For example, when you point the Discover app to the cover of the magazine, you are directed to a special statement from the editor and a quiz on your Beer IQ.

Another example is the latest issue of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine. In the Truvia advertisement toward the beginning of the issue, the user is invited to text TRU3 to MARTHA (627842) where they will receive a message from Martha Stewart.

There are also opportunities throughout the magazine to snap photos of the “Whole Living Bonus” symbol to view extras such as videos, interactive tours, recipes and enter giveaways. Readers don’t have to download an app, which if your phone looks like mine, is already filled with them.

In the next few years it will be interesting to watch marketers and interactive designers as they develop more and more creative ways to combine interactive elements with traditional media.

Photo courtesy: Beer West

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