by Brianne French-Sorgini


Augmented reality, or AR, is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It blends our idea of our physical, everyday reality with a virtual world, thus, enhancing our sensory experiences. VPM explored this technique last year through our holiday card, which was very well received by our clients.

AR isn’t entirely new technology, “but the ad world only really started buzzing about augmented reality around 2008, and it has taken a few years for brands to really start investing in the media,” according to Business Insider.

Here’s how it works: Unlike a QR code that simply links to a website, AR animates a 2D printed image into a 3D, interactive visual directly on your smart phone. This technique can be applied to any sort of print materials—lookbooks, brochures, pocket-folders, annual reports, even small business cards.

How can this benefit your company? Why should you care? It’s simple- because today’s consumers live in a technology-driven world, and need interaction with any kind of product or material presented to them in order to find the product appealing or useful. AR platforms used in printing materials provide this desired interaction. It will bring your company’s image and ideas to life, while allowing your client to engage more creatively and thoroughly with your product. Let’s explore two possible scenarios.

A traditional publication provides a plethora of ads from the first page onward. AR allows for images in these ads to come to life quickly and easily on your smartphone. Consumers now have the option to see multiple outfits modeled or products used in short tutorials, in a 3D format. This live footage is more engaging than a 2D ad, and gives consumers more reasons to follow the link to the brand’s website. It becomes a win-win situation for both the consumer and brand: the consumer is presented with multiple options, while the brand can cross-market their products. The more of an appeal there is the more purchases will be made. Layar displays an array of call to action options through simple AR techniques in their company magazine:

Business cards provide basic information. Applying AR techniques to your business card provides an opportunity to give your potential client more information—whether it be a few notable facts, a personal greeting or message from the cardholder, or instant access through links to your company’s website and social media pages. These capabilities will not only impress clients, but will provide them with more options and information that a traditional business card cannot. JuiceBurst uses AR techniques to show this with their highly interactive business card to draw attention to their social media pages.



Ultimately, VPM finds that AR techniques add the wow factor that companies look for. Contact VPM to find out more on how we can use AR techniques in your company’s print marketing materials.