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In 2012, Automakers Loved Interactive Print

Chris Cameron December 21, 2012

From the first days of modern augmented reality experiences, the auto industry was often early adopters, creating fun demos that let autoshow attendees see cool 3D models of cars come to life.

In 2012, a year which saw the birth and emergence of interactive print, automakers continued to stay on the cutting edge, using Layar to enhance newspapers, magazines and other print items with digital content.

Ford and Nissan both launched massive newspaper campaigns, reaching millions of readers in dozens of newspapers in India and Canada, respectively. Nissan’s campaign won Best of Show at the Media Innovation Awards earlier this year, and helped boost their test drives by 65%.

We saw some other great examples this year with very positive results, so below you’ll find a slideshow showing the various automakers, including Mazda, Skoda, Land Rover, Honda and Kia.

Flip through the photos below!

Andy Nock of RTS Consultants, which managed the KIA campaign shown in the slideshow above, had this to say about integrating Layar’s interactive print into the project.

“This was actually done as part of a training event that us at RTS eSolutions completed. We used a number of different markers around the car to highlight particular features. Delegates were able to hover their iPads over the markers to reveal videos, animations and links to more information. It went down really well so I am sure we’ll be looking to use Layar again soon!”

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How to Add Dynamic HTML Content to Your Print

Chris Cameron December 18, 2012

Last week we introduced some brand new, powerful additions to the Layar Creator - the Twitter Feed, Image Carousel and HTML widgets. Twitter and image slideshows are pretty straightforward, but the HTML widget is full of possibilities.

In order to give you some inspiration for how to make the most of this powerful new tool, we’ve compiled some examples of how you might use dynamic HTML content with interactive print. 

Flip through the photos below to see some of most promising use cases for the HTML widget.

Of course these aren’t the only examples of how HTML can be used in the Creator - the possibilities are nearly endless. Including:

  • Get info with forms - Let readers subscribe to your magazine right from its pages, or let them send feedback about specific content, like mailing the author of an article, with a simple contact form.
  • Cultivate event info - Instead of just telling attendees at your event what’s happening and when, provide live information, like live Tweets or breaking news stories at a big conference!

There are lots of other great examples for how to use HTML, but we want to see you come up with them and place them on your print. It’s really easy to do - just build it in HTML, host the file somewhere, add the link in the Layar Creator and define the frame size.

Check out the end of this video to see how to use the HTML widget in the Creator. 

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This Holiday Season, AR Christmas Cards Are Hot!

Chris Cameron December 17, 2012

It’s that time of year again - the holiday season - and while many still send the same old Christmas cards out to their families and loved ones, a few ambitious companies out there are taking the opportunity to create a more engaging print to digital experience with Layar.

We’ve noticed several Christmas Card campaigns being published, so here is a handful of some that caught our eye. Flip through the slideshow below to see the cards, which have all been augmented with Layar - some even with our new dynamic widgets

Click the thumbnails below to view larger versions of the images for scanning with Layar.

    

Christmas Cards are a great opportunity to add digital content to printed material, whether it’s company videos and slideshows like the ones above, or a personal message to someone special. Sign into the Layar Creator today to get started making your own AR Christmas Card!!

Special thanks to Mic-Media, Orange Barrel Media, Kennispunt Oost, Colour Tech, Drukkerij van Deventer and Reclamebureau REM for allowing us to feature their cards on the Layar blog!

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Introducing: Dynamic Widgets for Layar Creator

Chris Cameron December 12, 2012

Some of you may have noticed some changes that went live in the Layar Creator yesterday. We’ve just launched three new dynamic widgets that bring even more interactivity to your print products.

Here’s a rundown of the new widgets that you can find today in the Layar Creator:

  1. Twitter Feed
    Now you can feature a live, interactive Twitter feed of either one account’s tweets or a hashtag search right on top of your print. Just enter an account or hashtag and drop in on your page. It’s great for featuring your brand’s tweets or curating tweets at an event on the event’s printed program.

  2. Image Carousel
    Want to place a nice slider of images to accompany products for sale in a catalog? Just choose your images and drop them onto your pages with this handy widget. You can upload up to 10 JPG or PNG files that users can swipe through right on your print. In our example, we show off different pictures and angles for a stylish briefcase, but there’s a lot of possibilities for slideshows out there!

  3. HTML Widget
    This one is completely up to you - make it anything you like! Just enter the URL of any piece of HTML and you can display live, dynamic HTML content right on top of your print. The possibilities are nearly endless: live updating news feeds, sports scores, weather and traffic information, commenting, polls, forms, shopping carts, price comparison - even animated GIFs.

With the introduction of these new widgets, we’ve also rearranged how buttons are organized in the right-hand menu. Now buttons and widgets are grouped into handy expandable and collapsible menus labeled Basic, Media, Social and Developer. We think this is a better way to organize the growing list of buttons.

Have a look at the video above to see the new widgets and button organization in action.

We’ll have more to share soon about how to make the best use of these widgets, especially the HTML widget which has a lot of possibilities. To learn more about what’s possible with the new widgets, check out our tutorial over on the Support page.

These changes are the product of research and feedback from you, the users. Keep sending us your comments and suggestions to devsupport@layar.com!

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Making the Most of Calls-to-Action

Chris Cameron December 11, 2012

Not long ago we shared our Comprehensive Best Practices Guide for the Layar Creator - a detailed look at how to create the best and most effective interactive print campaigns.

In that guide we included tips for calls-to-action - the text and iconography you place in your print to prompt readers to scan with the Layar App. After some research, we’ve come up with even more tips for calls-to-action. Here’s what we’ve learned:

The most important elements of a call-to-action include:

  1. Smartphone icon
    The presence of a smartphone icon immediately makes readers think “mobile.” People these days instinctively reach for their smartphone when they see one, like when a friend they are with gets a text or call. Adding the icon in your print indicates how the reader can access the scannable content.

  2. Visual cues
    Using logos and visuals over text often conveys messages quicker and clearer. Including the Layar logo over simple text to direct readers to download the Layar app is key. We have also found that round shapes draw attention better than others. Color is also important, as it should compliment the content on the page while standing out to the reader.

  3. Brief description
    Users are more likely to scan your content if they know what to expect. If they like what they might find, they will be more interested in picking up their smartphone and scanning the page. Use a short, descriptive action phrase, such as “Scan to buy!” or “Scan to watch video!”

  4. Reference instructions
    Sometimes readers come across your calls-to-action without first encountering the instructions you included near the beginning of the magazine. In this case, it’s imperative to direct readers back to the instructions by including the page number (e.g., “See page 4 for instructions.”)

The image above is an ideal example of a call-to-action which includes all of these elements. It includes a smartphone icon, the Layar logo, a brief description and a reference to instructions.

An additional tip for calls-to-action deals with positioning. Logically, it’s best to place calls-to-action near the relevant printed content. As an example, if you’re offering the ability to listen to a song, it makes sense to place a call-to-action near a photo of the artist or the album artwork. The call-to-action works in tandem with the visuals of the content to encourage the reader to scan.

This also applies to spreads of content in a magazine. One might be inclined to only insert one call-to-action for two adjacent pages with digital content, but our research shows that elements on the page without the call-to-action are less likely to be viewed. To ensure all of your content is viewed, place calls-to-action on each page with content, even if they are next to each other in a magazine spread.

Despite all of these tips, there are still challenges. Right now it’s still too early and AR is still too young for readers to recognize the Layar logo alone. Including the text and icons mentioned above helps, but sometimes it’s not enough. For example, you can also add extra information about the digital content in the form of a short list placed near the call-to-action, depending on your page format and layout.

If you’d like more information on calls-to-action and other tips for making the best of your Creator campaigns, check out our Best Practices Guide.

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