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Glidden, House Beautiful paint the scene for redecorating shoppers with augmented reality

Hearst Corporation?s House Beautiful Magazine has teamed with paint manufacturer Glidden to execute an interactive advertisement that viewers can scan with their smartphones to upload a photo that allows them virtually test out the color swatches in the room they plan to paint

As House Beautiful and Glidden have partnered over the past seven years to create an advertising program in the magazine?s September Color Issues, Glidden was the first to adapt the House Beautiful Connect mobile application for print-to-web interactions. Through the updated House Beautiful Connect app, users can delve more into the editorial work of the magazine along with the interactive ads that the publication features.

?By definition, home design magazines are reliant on visual images,? said Sean Sullivan, group marketing director and associate publisher at Hearst Design Group, New York. ?With that being said, the production of these images has always been an evolving thing. 

?When House Beautiful was launched in 1896, the images in the magazine were single-color illustrations and engravings. The early 20th century brought black and white photography with color following in the 30s.  

?Augmented reality is a new generation of visual image manipulation, and being able to use technology to supplement a real-world view is incredibly beneficial when it comes to the home and hardware industry.?

Painting a future?
To access the interactive ad, users must download the Connect app, which is available to both iOS and Android users.

Several paint swatches are provided in the ad, where users can scan them on their smartphones. Users can then upload a picture of the room they wish to paint, and the color is applied to the room to give the user a more defined idea of how the color would look.

The ad appears in the September issue of House Beautiful.

The paint swatches in the ad are examples of Glidden?s new Shade Selector Chip, which carries colors with three shade options.  Glidden chose the chip colors that worked well together and showed the breadth of their palette in the ad. 

House Beautiful has pushed toward continuous digital innovations with the help of digital technology provider Digimarc, which has been making the pages of the publications interactive for nearly three years through the Connect app. 

Despite anticipation that print catalogs and publications are a dying breed, producers are incorporating mobile to digitize the user experience, hoping that users will seek out further content and tools available to them through items such as apps and QR codes.

Print goes digital?
IKEA is embracing omnichannel shopping with a mobile functionality that allows users of its mobile catalog application to save their favorite items as a shopping list to be used on the Web site or in-store and also allows for the creation of shopping lists compiled from multiple publications issued by the home-furnishings retailer.

The Sweden-based company unveiled the new app in conjunction with the release of its 2015 catalog, which focused on bathroom and bedroom furnishings and is themed, ?Where the Everyday Begins and Ends.? Although the new list functions are relatively easy to use on a smartphone, the richer content seems better suited to the larger screens of tablets (see story).

In July, Office Depot revisited the enhanced experience granted by augmented reality with a new back-to-school promotion that integrates bricks-and-mortar stores with an omnichannel shopping experience that taps the growing, loyal fan base of rock band R5.

By using this technology, brands can extend their packaging to introduce games, video or animation, and create holistically branded experiences. Using a smartphone and the Office Depot mobile app, shoppers can watch R5 come alive on their screen as band members offer shout-outs and then pose for a photo with the customer that fans can then share via social media (see story).

Augmented reality has proven to be a useful and timesaving tool and helps to eliminate multiple trips to a store.

?Designing and renovating your living spaces is tricky and consumers are open to anything that can make the process easier,? Mr. Sullivan said. ?The House Beautiful Connect app?s new function of painting a color swatch onto an image in your phone?s camera, such as a picture of a wall, is the digital equivalent of the first step in choosing a paint color, which is painting a patch on the wall and seeing how the consumer likes it.

?Readers will love it.?

Final Take?
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York