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Augmented reality brings print adverts to life in first interactive issue of Sainsbury’s magazine

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Sainsbury’s magazine is launching its first interactive issue, available in-store from 5 September.

Produced by Seven, the award-winning content marketing agency, the October issue will feature interactive print ad campaigns from brands including John West alongside editorial pages enriched with augmented reality (AR) content.

The interactive elements include exclusive how-to videos from top chefs Mark Hix and Sam Harris, a special message from editor, Helena Lang, competitions and additional content to engage readers, as well as a unique split-screen video cover which comes to life with content.

Using technology from Aurasma, Seven’s chosen AR platform, Seven has brought to life static print adverts with fun interactive content. This offers advertisers a bespoke way of enhancing print campaigns with the capabilities the digital world has to offer to engage customers for longer – including unique ‘tap to buy’ buttons and immersive layered video.

With brand advertisers increasingly interested in AR technology to help differentiate their products from the competition, readers will be able to scan ad campaigns and go straight to the Sainsbury’s online store to buy the products featured, watch adverts come to life on video, or access branded Facebook pages.

By downloading the free Aurasma Lite app onto their smartphone or tablet and hovering their device above the page, shoppers will be able to engage with the interactive features, allowing brands to gauge reaction to the magazine’s new adverts by measuring how many customers tap to buy products direct from the Sainsbury’s online retail page or access related weblinks such as Facebook.

So how does it work for John West? Using Aurasma, an interactive video of Fisherman Sam holding a tin of No Drain Tuna in Brine in the ad allows readers to ‘view the story behind every can’. Readers can then tap to access the John West website to find out exactly where their can of tuna comes from.

With the 832,000 readers of Sainsbury’s magazine regularly using the internet on their phones or tablets and 20% (almost 700,000) already download apps through their devices, they are 20 times more likely than the national average to buy groceries on their mobile and 24 times more likely respond to ads on their mobile than the national average.

In fact, recent AdSense research from IPC Media found that magazines and online advertising help to drive purchase decisions, with a third of women saying that combined magazine and online advertising helped them decide what to buy – 60% higher than the media average. Combining the two platforms significantly boosted brand recall and understanding of the campaign with 56% remembering the brand more after seeing magazine and online ads.

As a lifestyle and food magazine, Sainsbury’s magazine is ideally positioned to showcase AR functionality. Selling over 244,497* copies every issue (ABC Jan-Jun 12), and a readership of 3,535,000 (NRS Oct 11 –Mar 12), Sainsbury’s magazine, produced by Seven, now has more readers than any other monthly glossy paid-for magazine, making it the UK’s widest-read, fully paid-for monthly in Britain, offering a huge potential audience for AR content.

Rowan Manning, group commercial director at Seven says: “Augmented reality has huge potential for brands who want to engage with consumers at a deeper level, and really benefit from this unique opportunity to combine the power of the engagement of print with the immediacy of digital. Brands can drive consumers directly from their display or advertorial page to point of purchase or to branded sites to ensure consumers have a truly immersive experience with their products. And our ability to use existing promotional collateral such as video, and audio, gives us creative flexibility without incurring further costs, making assets work harder.”

Matt Mills, head of partnerships at Aurasma adds: “We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s magazine and their advertisers including John West. The magazine is the UK’s most widely read monthly paid-for title, and millions of people turn to it each month for ideas and inspiration. Sainsbury’s agency Seven immediately understood the potential for Aurasma and have used our platform to provide an experience that keeps readers engaged for even longer.“

Readers can access the AR features by downloading the Aurasma Lite app, subscribing to the Sainsbury’s magazine channel and simply pointing their smartphones or PC tablets at the pages featuring the Aurasma logo. The Aurasma Lite app is available on both iOS and Android.

Alongside the interactive issue, Sainsbury’s magazine is also announcing its online presence with its first ever blog, Kitchen Secrets, at on 5 September.

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