Strategy publishes Canada’s first augmented reality cover

Created by Toronto agency Secret Location, the three-in-one cover features the winners of the 20th annual strategy Agency of the Year award, the strategy Media Agency of the Year award and strategy's B!G Award. And in another first, strategy's sales team is helming a pay-what-you-can online ad auction for the CMA awards guide, with a portion of proceeds going to NABS.

Attendees at strategy magazine’s 20th annual Agency of the Year (AOY) awards ceremony last night got a sneak peek at Canada’s first augmented reality magazine cover.

The cover, created by Toronto agency Secret Location, pictures a glyph which triggers a set of three 3D animated images when set in front of a webcam, enabling what is essentially three magazine covers in one. The three images are graphic representations of this year’s AOY, Media AOY and B!G award winners and the campaigns that earned them those titles.

‘It’s been amazing to innovate with emerging technology and redefine what a magazine cover can represent and lead to,’ Secret Location executive producer and partner James Milward told MiC.

Augmented reality has recently become popular with marketers and publishers alike, and the strategy cover follows on the heels of US publications InStyle, Popular Mechanics and others. In Canada the technology has been used by Molson, which launched Molson Dry ‘party bottles’ that activate three different live animated party messages from the bottle when held up to a webcam. Nissan Canada used AR in an online application that let users customize a car and then view it in 3D.

‘As a publication that covers ‘bold vision, brand new ideas’ as per our tagline, it’s important to lead by example, and help our audience experience the latest media innovation, in addition to reading about it,’ strategy executive editor Mary Maddever told MiC. ‘Plus, we didn’t have to decide which winner to put on the cover! There are many hidden surprises in our cover, so do play with it to find them.’

To view the augmented reality cover, click here.

In another industry first, strategy‘s team helmed the pay-what-you-can ad sales effort behind the custom-published 2009 Canadian Marketing Agency awards guide. Noting that it’s been a tough year for many in the media business, the sales team thought it would be a novel way to approach this year’s sales effort, Laas Turnbull, executive VP, sales, strategy magazine, tells MiC. Double-page spreads, single pages and half-pages are available and the highest bidders will receive ad space in accordance with winning bid amounts (i.e. the highest bidders are allotted the most-coveted ad spaces). A portion of the sales will be donated to NABS. Bids are silent and must be submitted by 4 p.m. Monday, November 2nd.