For decades, retailers trusted print media to get their messages out to consumers. Print campaigns were extremely effective because people enjoyed receiving mail. When the Internet came along, print media suddenly appeared archaic and out of touch. Targeted digital ads replaced mass mailings, and e-mail and online advertising became the primary method to reach customers. Believe it or not, things have changed again. Print advertising is once again at the forefront of marketing for its consistency and reliability. Advancements in technology have bridged the gap with interactive print ads. These ads have made at-home shopping more fun and exciting and have led to bigger sales for businesses that incorporated interactive print ads. What is an interactive print? Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Interactive Print?

Interactive print advertising takes the medium to another level. Although newspaper and magazine advertising are tactile platforms to get your message to your prospects, they have never been able to reach beyond and interact with the reader. Although the reader is required to hold the paper, turn the page, and smell the ink, the process of reading an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine is relatively passive. However, recent print designers and savvy marketers have begun to create print ads that contain interactive elements. Now, viewers can be active as they manipulate the medium, instead of being passive. By incorporating digital technology such as QR codes, readers can interact with the ad. By using their smartphone QR scanner, a flat and plain magazine ad can suddenly spring to life and take the reader online, providing them with a variety of other ways to engage with the brand. However, other technologies can also be employed in interactive print ads. To fully understand how effective they are, here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of Interactive Ads

Here are some of the major benefits of using interactive ads:

  • Incorporating an interactive video in your ad is 47% more engaging (regarding viewing time) compared to non-interactive ads. Consumers spend longer interacting with the ad when there is a video involved.
  • Even if readers don’t click on the online video, simply having the option to interact with the ad makes it 32% more memorable.
  • Purchase intent is nine times higher with interactive ads.
  • These benefits apply to all age groups, industries, and genders—not just Millennials.
  • Interactive ads have proven to deliver higher conversion rates; about three times as high as a conventional video ad.
  • Interactive ads increase brand awareness and brand recall.

Why Do Interactive Ads Work So Well?

The primary reason why interactive ads are so effective is that they offer an experience that is more engaging than a static ad online or in a newspaper or magazine. Consumers, in general, have begun to gravitate toward content that is visual and interactive, such as social media posts, YouTube videos, and other digital avenues. The natural interest of users to learn by seeing and hearing is what makes interactive ads so appealing. Brands can influence consumers with appropriate content in a platform that they already spend much of their time engaging with. By connecting your print ad to their mobile device using scanning technology, you increase your effectiveness.

Types of Interactive Ads

Playable Ads

Perhaps the best interactive ad format available right now is the playable ad. This is thanks to some of the major mobile game publishers. Playable ads encourage viewers to play a short game with a call to action to download the game at the end. They may be required to control a character or solve a simple puzzle as the mobile ad plays.

Augmented Reality Ads

Another effective type of interactive ad incorporates augmented reality (AR). These types of ads allow the viewer to create and interact with virtual items or characters using their smartphone cameras and screens to superimpose them into the real world. One of the first social media platforms to incorporate this technology was Snapchat. A popular game that uses this technology is Pokémon GO. The great thing about AR is that it works well with other physical advertising formats such as outdoor displays or billboards.

Virtual Reality Ads

Virtual reality ads are a bit more challenging because they require dedicated hardware for an authentic experience. Users may be required to have a headset with a 360-degree view to properly interact with the video and pan around the action as it happens. There are many gaming companies that have adapted to the VR model, but this can be a challenging platform for advertisers in unrelated industries.

Making the Move to Interactive Ads

Although interactive ads have been around for a few years, the technology is still quite new. However, in this short period of time, these ads have shown how effective they are, providing companies with endless opportunities for creative campaigns. The expectation is that as this technology continues to quickly develop, more companies will have access to this strategy.

How North American Media Can Help You

Finding a way to connect your print ads with the digital world can be challenging if you don’t have a full grasp of how to build that bridge. Working with a print media marketing agency will work to your advantage. North American Media Inc. is a highly reputable and progressive consumer acquisition, retention, and monetization media company. We can help you bridge the gap with our experienced sales staff, aggressive marketing efforts, and cutting-edge information technology support. Not only will we help you acquire new customers at the lowest possible cost, but we will also boost your marketing campaigns, so it is highly effective. Our services also include direct mail marketing, list & insert brokerage, data solutions, list fulfillment, list management, digital media and radio, TV & Podcast media. For more information about advertisement costs in print media and how we can help grow your business contact us today!

David Klein