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Esquire mobilizes print edition without the need for QR codes, digital watermarks

Hearst is leveraging mobile to make every piece of content in the December issue of Esquire interactive and is accomplishing this without the need for QR codes or digital watermarks. 

Print publishers are embracing mobile to help drive deeper engagements with their publications as readers increasingly look to consume media via smartphones and tablets. Using the Netpage app on a mobile device, Esquire readers can clip, save and share every all every piece of content as well as access exclusive content, bring a Lexus ad to life and purchase certain items directly from the printed page.

?Esquire?s readers and advertisers have come to expect leading-edge content experiences ? this partnership with Netpage represents both a ?first? and a new standard for the industry,? said Jack Essig, senior vice president, publishing director and chief revenue officer at Esquire, New York.

?As partners in breaking boundaries, Esquire and Lexus will not only deliver a new means for engaging with our content but will also fuel the conversation around both our brands,? he said.

Immediate action
Netpage is a new, free iPhone app that uses a combination of image recognition, augmented reality and the company?s own patented Digital Twin technology to make the entire surface of every magazine page interactive without the need for digital watermarks or 2D bar codes that many other publishers use.

Using the app, mobile device owners can digitally clip and save any article, photo or ad and share it via email, text, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

?Consumers want to act on information of interest,? said Paul Morris, CEO of Netpage, Lenexa, KS. ?They want to save information of interest for later use; they want to share things of interest with friends and family.

?The Web and mobile Web, text messaging, and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter have educated consumers to these benefits and they are part of our DNA,? he said. ?Netpage brings these exact same capabilities to print magazines and uses the touch screen of the smart phone, a very familiar user interface, to make this happen.

?Now, with Netpage, the consumer can act immediately on that printed content the same way they take action with online content. Clip it! Save it! Share it! Post it! Sometimes, buy it!?

Leading with content
When Esquire readers scan the cover of the December issue using the Netpage app on their mobile device, they see an exclusive video with actor Bradley Cooper, who appears on the cover.

Users can also interact with content such as recipes and clothing spreads to save them, send them to a friend or post them on social media sites.

Additionally, readers can purchase gifts from the Great American Things Collection on the site, where an Esquire -branded storefront has been created.

While any ad can be scanned by the Netpage app, Lexus is the first brand to take full advantage of the app?s technology with a two-page ad spread that comes to life when scanned.

When the ad is scanned, the taillights from passing traffic move by, the scene animates and the headlights of the 2013 LS F Sport turn on. The animation then transitions into a 30-second video showing the latest broadcast spot from Lexus.

Going forward, all Esquire issues will be mobile-enabled via the Netpage app. Hearst is also currently testing Netpage for other magazines with plans to launch more mobile-enabled titles next year.

?Our page recognition technology means you don't have to actually embed a code, watermark, or any other system into your publication,? Mr. Morris said. ?The page itself becomes the key to further digital content, making the overall reading and user experience better for it.

?This is actual integration, with the content leading as opposed to a scannable code, and we believe that?s how it should be,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York