“Print is not only alive and well but there are some amazingly creative minds out there working with print!”

We have to admit, that’s not a line we hear often, but John Wilpers, director at Innovation Media Consulting seemed pretty certain that “print is not dying – it is absolutely positively doing great.”

Well, if you ignore the small issue of the massive structural declines that have continued to affect the market during the past 10 years or more, then yes, some of the creative advertising endeavours are pretty impressive, which Wilpers mentioned in his presentation at this morning’s FIPP Innovation Forum.

1. Carlsberg’s print ad bottle opener

Carlsberg teamed up with an ad agency to produce a tear-out at the back of an issue that could be folded into a lever-style bottle opener. We think that’s great, though we’d probably use it for something that wasn’t Carlsberg….

2. Capricho (Brazil) and Coca Cola’s mobile speaker system

Apart from the obvious aural trickery on the video below (where the sound track has simply been turned up and down to sync with the iPod entering and exiting the tube) we can imagine this one being quite handy on a summer’s day in the park. However, when using, please keep dubstep to a minimum.

3. Creative Review’s dissolvable plastic wrap

The more eco-friendly Creative Review subscribers got a month off after the magazine released an issue on the newsstand in 2009 with a dissolvable plastic wrap – put it in 60F water (15C) and the wrapper completely dissolves. The water was supposedly even drinkable…we’ll stick to Evian, thanks.

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4. Forbes and Microsoft’s embedded wifi router

This one is actually pretty innovative, although we hate to think of the added costs along the way. Forbes and Microsoft teamed up to provide a T-Mobile embedded wifi hotspot in a magazine that could be used by up to five devices for up to three hours. It was also rechargeable and reusable for up to 15 days – something we’d find very useful when the wifi drops out.

5. Veja Rio and Nivea’s solar recharger

Along with that roll-up speaker, this would be quite useful on a sunny day when your mobile battery is running low. Nivea teamed up with Brazilian magazine Veja Rio to produce an embedded solar charger in the back page.

6. Billboard Brazil’s “The End of the Silent Magazine”

This one also makes sense, bridging the gap between analogue and digital nicely. Billboard Brazil joined forces with the chaps from Ogilvy Brazil to produce an NFC-enabled issue (using an NFC sticker) that played music through your mobile when placed on the cover. Customers could then browse through the songs being talked about in the issue.

Nice to look at…

These innovations won’t save print’s bacon, but they do show what’s possible with some creative thinking and partnerships.

Most are mere disposable gimmicks, but the ones that bridge the digital and analogue worlds have a potentially more promising future, especially as the cost of a simple NFC stickers comes down and the technology becomes more widely accepted.