Interactive Print ZombieI’ve heard it before. I’m sure you have, too. This is dead, that’s dead…. Whether it’s email, television, or print, for every channel of communication we interact with, there’s a naysayer out there that says it’s dead.

Seth Godin summed it up best in just one word – Good. Yes, he thinks it’s GOOD some folks think print is dead:

“Dead means that they are no longer interesting to the drive-by technorati…Only when an innovation is dead can the real work begin. That’s when people who are seeking leverage get to work, when we can focus on what we’re saying, not how (or where) we’re saying it.”

Pundits have been saying print is dead for years now, but as I sit listening to the faint hum of our sister company’s printers churning out stacks of ink on paper day after day, I can assure you print is not dead…in fact, it may be UNDEAD.

A new era of interactive print is upon us, and it aims to make us rethink print by making our experience with the printed page more of a multi-sensory experience. Take this example of a print ad from Lexus in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated that uses a proprietary technology that Lexus created called CinePrint. Unlike more familiar interactive print technologies like QR Codes that take you away from the page, according to the automaker, “CinePrint Technology flips that on its head, creating a tactile and visceral connection that brings one closer to the printed page with a multi-sensory experience that combines sight, sound, and touch.”

The dead continue to rise in this example from SI’s sister publication, Entertainment Weekly, that embedded a digital screen into an ad in the October 5th issue that displayed looping video and live tweets promoting CW Television Network’s fall lineup. The folks over at Mashable dissected the print ad to uncover a real, full-sized 3G smartphone inside the page.

SmartPhone in magazine print ad

Are you starting to rethink print yet?

Interactive Print AppWisconsin-based printer QuadGraphics has. They’ve put nearly 2 years of development into an app that combines tech-like image recognition with augmented reality, enabling users to interact with print ads on their smartphone or tablet computer. “It brings digital content directly to the page,” said Matt Kammerait, Product Manager for Interactive Print Solutions at QuadGraphics. According to Kammerait, readers can use the app to view on-page videos and three-dimensional images of products on their mobile devices. It also allows buttons like Buy or Share to be accessible directly on the page so that readers can make a purchase or share a piece of content with other users instantly from their internet-connected device.

These are three pretty innovative and interactive examples that leverage print. So do you still think print is dead? If so, you may want to check over your shoulder, because the undead might be lurking right behind you!

Have you rethought how you’re using print to go to market? Sound off in the comments and let us know how.

Mike Kissel