Print mags ramp up interactive tech

Print magazine brands Marie Claire and Shortlist Media are turning to NFC and augmented reality in a bid to demonstrate to advertisers how innovative mobile technologies can boost engagement with traditional media.

IPC Media partners with Nuffield Health for NFC-enabled Marie Claire magazine advert.

IPC’s women’s monthly Marie Claire has partnered with gym chain Nuffield Health to run what it claims is the UK’s first NFC-enabled magazine advert. Readers can use their NFC-equipped smartphones to launch a webpage offering a free two-day pass to any of Nuffield’s leisure centres in the UK.

Those without an NFC-equipped smartphone can text a code to redeem the offer or go online.

IPC hopes the move will help boost digital revenues as it looks to offset the continued decline of print circulation in the UK. Earlier this year, the publisher unveiled several digital tie-ups with brands including Diet Coke and Jack Daniels as part of a wider strategy to grow its titles through branded content.

Declan Boyle, advertising director at IPC Innovator, says the NFC trial provides the publisher with an “immediate, measurable, dynamic and a low-cost platform” to work on with advertisers.

He adds: “This is another great example of how magazines continue to provide innovative and effective advertising solutions. As the number of NFC-equipped handsets grows, this technology becomes attractive for advertisers looking for a way to bridge the offline print world with the online digital world and boost consumer engagement.”

Elsewhere, free UK magazine Shortlist has partnered with augmented reality app Blippar to launch what it says is the world’s first playable magazine” as part of a high-profile augmented reality push for its retro gaming special edition.

The cover of today’s issue (7 November) can be turned into a playable version of 80s video game Chuckie Egg when scanned using the Blippar app. Additional interactive gaming content also appears throughout the issue, including access to Grand Theft Auto V and Tomb Raider trailers as well an interactive Assassins Creed photography game.

The proportion of web traffic via mobile will hit 20 per cent this Christmas, according to IBM, and publishers are increasingly investing in augmented reality campaigns as a way of testing new revenue streams on smarthones and tablet devices.

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