Maxim magazine embraces augmented reality to bring cover model to life
By Chantal Tode
August 9, 2012
Readers can use mobile devices to interact with the cover
Maxim magazine is letting readers bring its September cover to life via a new augmented reality initiative.
The magazine launched the new Maxim Motion mobile application to coincide with the release of the September issue and give readers a way to interact with the print pages in the magazine without the need for 2D bar codes. For example, by holding a mobile phone over the cover image, the app uses image recognition and augmented reality to deliver an on-page video featuring cover model Bar Refaeli.
We helped Maxim bring a beautiful woman to life right from the printed page in a fun and interactive way, said Maura Packham, vice president of marketing and communications at Quad/Graphics Inc., Sussex, WI.
Maxim is taking interactive print to the next level, using a mix of image recognition and augmented reality to allow users to launch on-page videos, she said. No QR code is necessary."
Viewers see the video right on the page versus being transported to a Web site or other location. This approach allows the readers to interact more deeply with the content in an easy and entertaining way.
Maxim magazine reaches nearly 12 million U.S. readers each month.
Quad/Graphics Actable interactive print solution is the enabling technology behind Maxims new app.
Integrating print, mobile
Besides the cover, additional on-page, image-activated videos appear throughout the September issue of Maxim, which hits newsstands on August 14.
Readers who download the free Maxim Motion app will be able to launch content related to what they see on the printed page without the need for a 2D bar code using their mobile devices.
The Maxim Motion iPhone app
Actable interactive print gives publishers and marketers the chance to integrate the power of print with the immediacy of mobile, so consumers can take further action at their exact moment of peak interest, Ms. Packham said.
Once publishers and marketers see the possibilities of interactive print, they seem to very quickly recognize how it solves the challenge of merging technologies into one unified campaign, she said.
Maxim will be able to measure the interactions using data analytics and reporting supplied by Quad/Graphics.
Reaching loyal readers
Maxim is one of a growing number of magazine publishers who are enlisting mobile as a way to enhance the reading experience by providing related digital images, special offers and other exclusive content.
For example, Sports Illustrateds annual swimsuit issue enabled readers of the latest edition to scan editorial pages and access behind-the-scenes videos using technology from Nellymoser and Digimarc (see story).
Additionally, House Beautiful enabled readers of its June issue to pin images to their Pinterest boards using their mobile phones (see story).
With books, newspapers, magazines and publications in general it absolutely makes sense for publications to ensure they have a mobile presence, with a mix of apps for the loyalty customers and mobile Web for reach and frequency of visits by the general populace, said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta. Utilizing mobile and social to reach audiences will ensure the publications stay up to date and in the hands of consumers.
Ms. Troutman is not associated with Quad/Graphics or Maxim. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.
There is a place in the mobile ecosystem for both mobile Web and apps to reach the bulk of the consumers on the market with their stories as well as being able to use mobile to capture ad buys and marketing space to make up for diminishing print sales, Ms. Troutman said.
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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