Print ads were once the standard format for creative advertising. But as more and more advertising dollars are allocated to digital outlets, print advertising is seen as an expensive, untrackable, traditional media format.
You would think the category is void of innovative ideas, but that’s certainly not the case. In fact, many brands are finding new ways to merge the digital and physical world through magazine and newspaper ads.
Here are 15 print ads that should make you rethink the word “traditional.”
In 2013, Lexus released an ad that, when placed over an iPad, revealed the car in action with different backgrounds and music.
This print ad for the car brand features a one-page ad with a front view of the car that asked people to hit the ad. The spread following it included a mini air bag that inflated when hit.
3. Nivea Sun Kids
This print ad won the Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes in 2014. The ad includes a wristband you could attach to your child as he runs around at the beach. The app lets you set a distance and receive alerts if the child wandered beyond the limit.
UTEC, an engineering and technology university, wanted to recruit more students. Instead of placing the smiling faces of young graduates on a billboard, it created an ad that pulled moisture out of the air in Lima, Peru, which sees very little rain each year.
The brand teamed up with Wired to promote the Moto X’s custimization. People could change the color of the phone by pushing buttons.
6. Nivea Solar Charger
To promote its sunscreen products, Nivea created a print ad with a solar panel that could charge a cell phone.
To show off the features of the Ford Explorer, the brand published three print ads with interactive elements. The reader could scan a QR code and then line up the phone on the ad to see the car in action.
8. Kontor Records
Kontor Records wanted to get the attention of creative advertising professionals. Instead of mailing out the latest CD, it sent a vinyl record with a paper turntable that could be played with an iPhone.
If you’ve ever wanted to speed up the beer-cooling process, you’ll understand the allure of this print ad from Glacial. You soak the ad in water, wrap it around the bottle, and put it in the freezer. The print ad was made with salt particles, which reduce the freezing point of water.
10. Lladro Lighting
Why advertise lamps when you can give people an ad that transforms into a lamp? The print ads act like a pop-up book, allowing people to create their own lamp shape by mounting the paper in a corner.
Fashion retailer C&A published a print ad in customized magazine editions that were linked to a person’s Facebook account. Readers could Like their favorite looks on Facebook by pressing the button in the ad. The data was then sent to a leaderboard in the store.
12. Shikun & Binui Solaria
Israeli energy company launched this print ad to promote green energy. The print ad just seems like a simple black and white drawing. However, when you hold it up to sunlight, vibrant colors appear.