Fit To Print

Brands create interactive print advertisements

When it comes to advertising, digital isn’t necessarily supreme. Young consumers also respond well to brands that engage them via offline experiences and even through analog mediums, including print magazines. Brands are reflecting the latter by releasing print advertisements with interactive components, from scents and sounds to fold-out items.


Ikea is addressing society’s recent focus on sleep not only through its products, but also with an interactive advertisement that engages multiple senses to promote better rest. “The sleepiest print ad in the world,” featured on the back of the United Arab Emirates’s Good magazine, was printed with lavender-infused ink that promotes relaxation and helps with stress relief. When readers open a flap on the ad, a port emits lavender. Meanwhile, reflecting a growing trend in which advertisements can also serve as entertainment mediums, the ad can be removed from the magazine and folded to function as a bedside white noise machine.


To evoke the feeling of being in a Camry, Toyota placed an interactive advertisement in the March issue of InStyle magazine that simulates the dashboard of the car through sound, touch, and smell. Readers unfold the ad by putting their thumbs on the metallic door sensors. Once opened, a leather scent is activated, while tabs measure one’s heart rate and send the data to a monitor in the audio console that registers their heartbeat and releases lights and beeping sounds. It took eight months of research and testing to get the ad right, with the brand releasing 50,000 copies to bring its driving experience to readers.


Notorious for quirky, over-the-top advertising that pokes fun at traditional fragrance marketing, Old Spice has released a print advertisement that evokes this same tone. Inside the March issue of GQ magazine, the brand released an ad that folded out into an adult-sized paper blazer scented with Proctor & Gamble’s new line of men’s fragrances. Readers are encouraged to actually wear the garment, not just merely dispose of the ad, to promote the brand’s Red Collection of scents. Old Spice also included photos of models wearing the red blazer, inspiring anyone to “live the luxurious life of Old Spice Captain.”