Print and Mobile are Better Together!

Barb Pellow
Aug 11, 2010

Print has been the ultimate portable media for a very long time–ever since someone thought to write on a tablet that could be transported rather than writing on a cave wall. Today, devices like smartphones and iPads have become a primary source of portable media from which we can obtain information and communicate. Technology is certainly moving fast, but that doesn’t mean that print has to be left in the dust. In just the past several weeks, the market has seen tremendous examples of companies that are combining print and mobile technologies to deliver enhanced value.

Throughout 2010 and 2011, Calvin Klein will be featuring a new ad campaign promoting its X jeans. Three billboards (at Houston and Lafayette Street in New York, at West 20th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, and at Sunset Boulevard and Havenhurst Drive in Los Angeles) are displaying a Calvin Klein QR code that gives device users access to a mobile video featuring models in the company’s latest X jeans. The QR code included in Calvin Klein’s billboards enables consumers to scan at street level to view an exclusive 40-second spot on their mobile devices.


After watching the video, viewers can share the QR code with friends on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to blending print and mobile technologies, Calvin Klein’s ad campaign is also relying on viral marketing to build awareness about the company’s new jeans. The company will also have analytics to measure statistics concerning consumers’ interactions with the advertisements.

In July 2010, Coca-Cola announced a partnership with Canada-based Rogers Wireless to drive participation in its “Twist TXT Save” program. Coke also issued calls to action via e-mail, its Website, the carrier’s site, and its packaging. The partners are running an under-the-cap SMS promotion along with a “Summer’s Sweetest Moments” MMS sweepstakes.

Coke highlights its Twist TXT Save promotion on its printed bottle labels. It then prints a unique PIN under the bottle cap that acts as a proof of purchase.


Time Out New York Magazine (TONY) released its August cover enhanced with mobile augmented reality. The August TONY Kids` issue will actually sing from the newsstands. Users can point their smartphones at the magazine cover and enjoy a video of P.S. 22, the Webby Award-winning fifth-grade chorus from Staten Island, which found national fame on YouTube.

The magazine cover exploits the latest advances in augmented reality to unlock video and 3D content at the click of a smartphone. In its simplest form, augmented reality enables consumers to use their mobile devices to experience print products in a new and exciting way. An image that was once static on a page now comes to life, enabling consumers to see and hear the content for themselves.


The examples discussed here prove that print and mobile can be used synergistically. When combined, these two technologies give brands more meaning, provide a more interesting and interactive customer experience, and get people talking about the products and services that companies are delivering. Print and mobile technologies truly are better together!

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