CANNES – What does drinking beer and scaling Mt. Everest have in common? For Sports Illustrated, it was an issue dedicated to augmented reality with Coors Light tagging along in a “high-touch, custom-created solution.”
The May 8 issue of SI was an AR-lover’s dream as it enabled readers to scan its content without the use of QR codes and to share the experience of two climbers and a 360-enabled camera crew throughout the ascent. Even the Coors ad on the front cover flap could be activated via image recognition software, as PSFK reports.
The Coors integration and others like it “all starts with a deep conversation,” Time Inc.’s SVP of Sales, Andrew Snyder, says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. “In fact, many of the conversations look and feel a lot like the ones we’re having here in Cannes, which start with a creative concept.”
From there, it’s a matter of finding “the right type of platform, the right type of innovation, the right type of treatment for the brand,” Snyder adds. “When we get that right, it creates much deeper engagement, much more success.”
Overall, the groundbreaking SI issue “was a fun way for us to bridge the digital world and the VR world legacy of our company deeply rooted in print.”
Like other publishers, Time Inc. has been surfing the wave of all-things-digital by following consumer preferences and testing emerging platforms. Its “holistic view” led it to acknowledge early on that people weren’t watching video just on destination properties like those of its own brands, prompting it to launch a syndicated platform. “We’ve been aggressive in responding to that,” says Snyder.
Within the last couple of years the company also perceived “a big uptick” in the number of video views occurring on social media platforms. Not only did Time Inc. begin pushing more video content into social, it launched brands like Well Done “that live entirely in social media.”
Looking ahead, Synder sees no ebbing of the digital tide in the near future.
“One of the things that really strikes me is that if you look out over the next several years, there’s approximately 20 billion dollars in new digital video investment coming into the market,” he says. “There are a limited number of companies that have the full scope of assets to fully compete for that opportunity to land their fair share. We believe we’re one of them.”
This video is part of Beet.TV’s Coverage of Cannes Lions 2017. For more from the series, please visit this page.