Print and technology are meInteractive Print Ad - Musicalrging in the advertising world. We came across this article in Adweek about a print ad by a British food company that encourages audiences to discover the “sound of taste.” Simply touching the ad actually brings it to life by producing various harmonious sounds depending on where you touch.  How is this possible? A technology called conductive ink allows paper to act like a smartphone or tablet touchscreen that when activated, sends signals to the viewer’s device to play music. Scroll to the end of the article to play the video of this colorful poster in action.

Conductive ink is not just a passing trend. In fact, according to a recent press release on Business Wire, it is expected to be a $2 billion dollar business in 2014.  And print advertising is not the only area where this technology is being used. 3D printers are now capable of printing electric ink at the same time as other materials, which basically means technology is instantly installed in the object being created.  Check out this very brief video showing a puzzle made with a 3D printer that incorporates the technology.

But back to the industry we know and love – print advertising. More evidence that it continues to innovate and become interactive is shown in this print ad by a Parisian jewelry company. By placing a smartphone on top of the model’s hand in the ad, virtual browsing is made possible.  The viewer (or should we say user?) is brought to a mobile site where he/she can browse through the company’s bracelet and ring collection displayed on the virtual hand. See this cool print ad in action.  In this case the combination of print and technology helps bridge the gap between just flipping through a magazine and noticing an ad, to actually browsing in a shop.

Interactive advertising offers a much richer audience experience. Who knew print advertising could be so progressive, fun, and most importantly, offer a whole new level of engagement for marketers?