A just-released Lexus ad in the Sports Illustrated print edition does something incredible, albeit rather pointless.
The ad is part of its 2013 Lexus ES marketing campaign, which Lexus claims (probably fairly) is "a never-before-seen convergence of print and digital advertising." Readers can bring an ES print ad in the Oct. 15 issue of SI to life by placing the ad over the screen of an iPad, while running the Lexus-created video found in this week's iPad edition of Sports Illustrated or at Lexus.com/stunning.
Users will see a static print Lexus ad take off for a "stunning test drive," with lightning flashes, headlights coming on, X-ray views inside the Lexus and so forth. Judging by the video that Lexus released the effect is fairly stunning for a print ad — but far less stunning than it would be on the iPad itself.
Lexus claims to have spent months developing CinePrint Technology to animate the 2013 ES’s next generation design and technological advances in an all-new way. As Lexus said in a statement, "Most traditional mashups feature print ads that redirect to a digital experience away from the printed page."
Yes but, doesn't forcing the print reader to have an iPad handy provide unnecessary temptation? And what stops those users who open the iPad issue of SI from reading it instead of the print magazine? And yes the print page is highly animated, but by a several-hundred-dollar device that the reader owns. "They sort of cheated," describes Mashable.
It's a compelling gimmick, but for print advertisers, a gimmick nonetheless. Lexus has said nothing about licensing out CinePrint (which appears to be an entirely in-house technology), but if it does so, CinePrint likely has applications in digital signage, tradeshow graphics and children’s books.