I made my annual pilgrimage to the ADDY entry drop off recently. BooneOakley’s pad this year. Being greeted by familiar faces reminded me of why the event is important to me: reconnecting with the local industry and its people. It means seeing folks that I might not otherwise run into and to catch up with them, see their work, share a drink, hear their stories, share another drink. It helps ground me but also renews my perspective on things.
Anyway, what was different this year is that I arrived representing a digital agency. I joined Untold in June. What this meant was that the entry process was a helluva lot easier. Electronic links, thank you very much. No gathering physical samples, and the only printing needed was the good ol’ entry manifest. Happy campin’ I was.
After the deadline, however, we received samples of a project we finished just a few weeks ago. Since it was completed by year’s end, it’s legit for the 2014 show. And as luck would have it, the good people at the ADDYs came through with a late entry opportunity and I took it. But this entry was different for Untold — a brochure. Yup. Genuine ink on paper. The piece is an 80-page catalog for Regal Boats showcasing their 2014 product line. I wanted to enter it because it was a big project and it turned out great.
Printed 4-color brochure, AKA “08B – Collateral Material.” Simple, right? Maybe not.
Throughout the book we utilized augmented reality to deliver additional content to readers with smartphones and tablets via the cool and highly functional Layar mobile app. Layar turns static images on a printed page, label, bus shelter or whatever into dynamic AR experiences. In the case of the Regal brochure, hovering over one spread will bring up Regal’s Twitter feed, then turning the page reveals a video, another their Pinterest page, another a gallery with more images than could ever fit onto a single page. Unlike our old friend QR Code, Layar takes you from one platform to another as you flip pages. No re-scanning needed.
So the entry sparked some good questions. Was the piece a brochure, or had it become something else? Was it print or digital? Was it one medium or more? Or integrated? What should be judged here: the look and design of it? The functionality of it? The utility or interactivity of it? What does it do for the Regal brand, one who counts innovation as a pillar? (Lot’s of interesting questions when all I really want is a shiny new paperweight for the office.)
It was suggested to me by a colleague that, based on his show judging experience, this could fall under a multimedia category. Someone else suggested this could work as an integrated campaign. That was interesting to me: a single printed piece that is not merely a part of a broader campaign but one that brings a campaign right into the user’s hands in a single experience. Yet if campaigns are episodic and reveal themselves over time, how is this that?
Of course, while finding the right category for an award show is my concern, it’s not our customer’s. Technology has blurred the classic definitions of every medium and customers aren’t thinking about categories. They only know they have a lot more tools, choice and power and are busy adopting whatever makes sense. I like that we have, it seems, contributed a bit to the blurriness of evolution.