Audi of America created an interactive print ad that showcases the lighting features of its 2019 A8 model. The light-up insert targets affluent magazine readers, inviting them to engage with the vehicle using a physical key fob.
Brands primarily seek engagement on digital, but some, like Audi are keen to use an old format in an innovative way. The Departures campaign is being launched at a time when digital advertising spend continues to increase year-over-year, but print has been on a steady decline. In fact, national spending on print advertising dropped 18 percent YoY in July, according to Standard Media Index.
Alongside the November/December issue of Departures, 25,000 targeted readers will be given a faux key fob. Pressing buttons on the fob will simulate locking and unlocking the Audi A8, which has been printed on a special light-up insert.
The virtual Audio A8 responds to a reader’s commands with organic light-emitting diode (OLED) taillights that animate just like the real thing. The lights can then be activated either by closing and reopening the pages or with the key fob.
The Audi ad simulates the physical relationship between driver and car while showcasing a new feature for the Audi A8—responsive lighting.
Departures is a luxury magazine given exclusively to Platinum Discover Card Members. The publication caters to global traveling consumers with an average net worth of $3.5 million. Departures got a redesign earlier this year under editor in chief Jeffries Blackerby, who favors large, bold images more akin to niche fashion magazines.
“The all-new Audi A8 marks the next generation for Audi lighting design, which is why we wanted a thoughtful and tech-forward approach to our print advertising,” Loren Angelo, vice president of marketing for Audi of America said in a statement. “The ad is more than a stunning visual; it’s a limited-edition experience that we hope will intrigue Departures readers and Audi fans who are consistently on the go. We wanted to create something so impactful that it would naturally get those readers’ attention.”
Audi’s light-up campaign is designed to engage consumers in a digital world the same way brick-and-mortar stores still bring crowds. VR and voice commands are neat, but sometimes you just want to hold something in your hands before you buy.
Zenith estimates magazines will only account for 3.8 percent of global ad spend by the year 2020, compared to 5.2 percent in 2017. Mobile internet, meanwhile, is predicted to reach 29.3 percent of global ad spend by 2020.