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drupa in Augmented Reality

When the drupa advertisements appear in roughly 500 specialist publications in over 60 countries in the next few months, the letters AR in the top right-hand corner will catch your eye immediately: The advertisement is enhanced by augmented reality.

If the reader views the marker, in this case the image, using a smartphone, tablet or PC/laptop camera equipped with special software (Junaio; also see www.drupa.de/hilfe), then a 3D animation starts up on the screen. You are taken directly to the drupa website by just tapping the interactive button with your finger. The advantages are obvious: Using print the reader can be directly taken to the drupa website to get the latest information. "This logical linking up of print, Internet and mobile systems is the central theme of our whole marketing campaign for drupa 2012 and is a continuous thread throughout all elements", explains Petra Köhler, Manager of Marketing Communication at Messe Düsseldorf. "In its marketing campaigns drupa has always picked up on the latest print communication trends, adapted them to the specific needs of the world's leading trade fair and implemented them accordingly.
"The cross-media networking of different media channels is the focus of the next drupa, although print is still the leading medium", clarifies Petra Köhler. "The campaign's motto is fittingly: your link to print". The drupa song was integrated into the first advertising campaign across media in the summer of 2011 as a small taster of the whole AR campaign and received positive feedback.
If nothing else, tablet PCs and increasingly sophisticated smartphones are placing augmented reality more and more under the spotlight and opening up new and interesting uses for the whole communication industry. "The technology should not be used as an end in itself though. It must be integrated conceptually into the whole campaign and must basically take second place to the communicative aims and content", says Michael Sommer, Creative Director of the Düsseldorf agency Concepteers, which developed this campaign right from the start.
The campaign's development history is probably as unique as the campaign itself. The cross-media "your link to print" campaign was decided on in the summer of 2010 and the creative go-ahead was given at the same time. Ten communication design students from the private Ruhrakademie in Schwerte helped develop the AR elements and integration into the whole campaign as part of their project work. Michael Sommer, a lecturer at the university since 1993, supervised the group. The first step was status analysis, i.e. what is state of the art, which trends can be expected. It quickly became clear that the visitor's catalogue, the most important advertising tool for drupa, should be enhanced by AR. The visitor's catalogue appears in ten languages (besides the main European languages also in Chinese, Japanese and Russian) and has a total circulation of 450,000 copies. This guarantees broad coverage of the campaign. Two topics from the visitor catalogue are picked up on and implemented across all media: drupacity Düsseldorf and the so-called drupa specials, the specialist supporting programme. "A dialogue can be developed using augmented reality, unlike with classic forms of advertising", Petra Köhler recognises a clear advantage of AR. "We use this advantage for example with our German visitor mailings, by inviting recipients to play with AR and go to the drupa website to get the latest information", says Petra Köhler. "This kind of cross-media campaign is of course still unknown territory and presents several challenges in everyday work", says Michael Sommer. However, the networking of print and internet channels and the upgrading of a classic campaign with these kinds of additional features offers lots of potential, for print buyers as well as the print industry and print service providers.

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