Esquire can augment my reality ANY time

08Dec09

On a recent expedition to Fry’s to buy a new hard drive for my aging (see: 2 year-old) Macbook, I was distracted by the wide array of “Gentlemen’s interest” magazines on display.  And what should be next to these muses of programming?  The magazine of the interesting gentleman: Esquire.  And what was on the cover?  This:

That's right: RDJ in all his puzzling, saucy beauty.

Now it’s no secret that I love me some Robert Downey Jr (and maybe the subtle hinting at his crotchal region).  However, the thing that really intrigued me was the puzzle box on which our hero is perched.  It’s Augmented Reality, and Esquire just did so many things right with it.  The basic premise is that you can hold the box up to your webcam (after installing the nifty AR software) and the magazine will come to life right before your eyes.  RDJ jumps off the page and delivers his monologue brimming with flustered charm as though one were watching an Iron Man redux as opposed to holding a page in front of a webcam.

Other AR segments include funny jokes told in person by a beautiful woman, a Lexus ad where you control the speed of the car with the magazine, and a sample jazz song from a featured artist.

I mentioned that Esquire did several things right:

  1. Not out with the old…just make it some new.  It used an already beloved column as a guinea pig.  Readers love funny jokes told by a beautiful woman, and it’s a logical leap that they’ll probably love it even more in person.  Take something the consumer is already comfortable with and make it avant garde.
  2. Let the advertiser try it.  Readers will abide by it (and maaaaaybe even think it’s cool), the mag can charge higher rates for cool new technology, and Lexus gets to use infrared to find your face.
  3. Keep it right on target.  Every issue of Esquire has a theme (perhaps based on the assumption that men are mono-thinkers) and this issue’s theme is…the Augmented Reality!  Everything in the issue and on the landing page points straight to one thing: try the damn AR already. From the front and center HOW TO and easy download buttons to the nifty video with the mag Editor explaining the wonders of modern technology, the only thing that could distract said man from his objective is wanting to know what the creepy JC Penney’s kids are doing.

In short, I love this idea, its execution, and its cover star.  And I plan to subscribe to Esquire until the dying day of multimedia magazine production.

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2 Responses to “Esquire can augment my reality ANY time”

  1. What a sexy photo of Robert Down Jr. I’ve always admired him ever since I saw his movie about 5 years ago.

  2. 2 pdlillianbellp3

    Hi guys & gals, I’m Joseph!

    I’m new to the forum and just saying hello.


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