Can interactive print really deliver?


Working with a print and document management company and an international print manager we are always looking for examples of best practice when it comes to direct mail or marketing materials. Not only do we look for good quality imagery and interesting formats but also pieces that go above and beyond to really capture the attention of the audience.


Interactive print is a bit of a buzz word within the industry at the moment, with lots of companies recognising the need to integrate digital and print together in order to create the necessary impact, which will encourage the recipient to open the piece and most importantly read it.


As QR codes and now AR codes and blippar, plus other apps, become second nature with agencies and consumers it goes without saying that they need to be considered when brands are planning their next marketing campaign, launch or project.


What has changed recently is clients attitudes towards apps; long gone are the days where we can test and measure an idea, now is the time that these things have to deliver a return on investment just like everything else. Pretty pictures are all well and good but if your exploding fruit or branded game doesn’t encourage purchase then you have to question what the point was – did it meet with objectives? Probably not.


I was really surprised recently when my brother gave me what looked like a hard backed booklet from Auto Trader. He works within this industry and often comments that he receives lots of promotional emails that he just simply doesn’t get chance (nor has the desire) to open and read.


As an advertiser with Auto Trader magazine my brother had received this particular piece and thought that it was quite impressive and I have to agree, it is. The concept is simple, it’s a direct mail piece which says ‘Your buyers are online, are you…..?’. When you open the piece there is an image of a smart phone which suddenly comes to life and plays a video showing the benefits to advertising in Auto Trader along with a timeline of how the business has changed over the years.


What Auto Trader have managed to do with this piece is to create intrigue, harness interest and engage with the end user, a prospect and a customer, better still they have encouraged both myself and my brother to share the piece and tell others about it, further extending the audience reach.


This piece is a real example of how print and digital can work together to make a communication stronger. There is absolutely no way that I would have looked twice at this if it hadn’t been so well executed.


I have included a short video of how the piece works as I honestly do think that many marketing agencies could take some learnings from the simple concept through to delivery of this piece.


Please do share your own examples of excellent direct marketing and mail campaigns with us. Can anyone top this quirky campaign or have you even seen better examples that you can showcase?