GQ GOES BEYOND QR: GQ is bringing augmented reality to its September issue. Via a new app, dubbed GQ Live, every advertisement and some editorial in the upcoming issue will feature print-to-mobile content extensions, including videos, 3-D modeling, interactive experiences and click-throughs to social media and e-commerce sites.

“We want to take a must-buy issue and turn it into an even bigger event,” said Chris Mitchell, vice president and publisher of GQ. “Advertisers can get as ambitious as they want with this and it’ll be fun to see all the different executions.”

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The technology uses the Aurasma platform, which uses image-recognition from a smartphone or iPad camera to launch the specified digital media attached to that image. The app negates the need for a QR code — which can be unsightly on a polished fashion advertisement — and provides a host of new features beyond QR. Rather than just launching a specific Web site page, Aurasma offers multiple interactive options, such as clicking through to Facebook or Pinterest, and can meld the physical images from a magazine page with an animation or video. “The page really looks like it’s dissolving into the animation. It sort of magically comes to life,” explained Lauren Offers, marketing director at Aurasma.

The technology has already been used by British GQ and Dunhill in October. Both the cover of the magazine and a Dunhill advertisement inside were activated via the app, with viewers able to watch various videos, shop Dunhill looks and learn more about the campaign, via a tap on their screens.

Popular Science used Aurasma to bring a story on inventors to life via videos in its current June issue and U2 incorporated the app into print ads for a documentary DVD earlier this spring. After aiming a smartphone at the ad, viewers could launch a trailer for the DVD or buy it directly from Amazon.

GQ is aiming to make its GQ Live app easy to navigate for advertisers, offering assistance from its internal design group on potential executions. “More and more people are creating video and other assets around their campaigns already,” noted Mitchell. He predicted the September issue would be up in ad pages from 2011. “In a year that’s been solid for us, but not exactly record-breaking, we’re seeing some nice momentum for September,” said Mitchell.