Audi A8 Interactive Insert

Car taillights haven’t changed all that much over the last 50 years. So when Audi came up with a fun way to transform the lights on the back of their latest A8 sedan into a magical, animated light show using organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), they wanted to put this fact in front of an audience that enjoys the finer things in life, all in a fun, unique way. The solution? A stylish print-magazine insert that, upon opening, recreates the symphony of lights emitted by the vehicle it was designed to promote.

Audi A8 interactive insert

Primary and media agency PHD Media, creative agency Venables Bell + Partners, and dimensional-marketing masters Structural Graphics partnered with Meredith Corp. to craft a dramatic insert that was hand-tipped onto a carrier page (secured with 4 glue dots) inside the November/December 2018 issue of Meredith’s Departures magazine.

“One giant leap for machine kind,” trumpets the copy on the front of the advertising supplement, floating above an image of the vehicle’s front. Opening the piece reveals a super-moody photo of the car from behind, its taillights instantly animated in a near-perfect recreation of the A8’s own idiosyncratic luminescence. To get it to light up again, simply close the brochure and open it once more…or do it the cool way: Click the key fob that accompanies the piece!

Audi A8 interactive insert key fob and packaging

This is probably a good time to point out that Departures magazine is published exclusively for American Express Platinum Card Members, a sophisticated audience who can easily see themselves behind the wheel of a $90,000-plus Audi A8, so long as it promises a unique, stylish experience.

To make this advertising supplement possible, Structural Graphics assembled an enormous number of OLEDs and, lining them up with the car’s taillights, sandwiched them between two printed sheets of Invercote Creato paper. They also produced the remote control “key fob,” a convincing imitation of such gadgets – printed on 120 lb. Sappi McCoy Gloss Cover paper – which readers can use to retrigger the lighting sequence at will. (The company even designed the box the fob comes in.)

Audi A8 interactive insert

The insert effectively captures the A8’s signature light show with one of its own that’s every bit as groundbreaking. The addition of the faux key fob is a clever touch, the designers surmising (correctly, I think) that there’s greater “look at this” value in triggering the lights by remote control rather than by simply opening and shutting the advertisement repeatedly.

Like the dimensional piece Structural Graphics created to promote the Toyota Camry last year, this is something that’s designed to be shown off in a variety of situations – the print equivalent of a meme, only way cooler.

At a time when every online miracle looks like every other online miracle, it is interactive print experiments such as this that soon might mean the difference between leading in your industry…or merely watching the taillights of those who do.

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Audi A8 interactive insert

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Project Details

Title Audi A8 Interactive Insert Client Meredith Corp. Design Concept and Design:Structural Graphics Media Plan:PHD Media Photography and art layout: Venables Bell + Partners Paper Carrier page bound into magazine and insert: Iggesund Invercote Creato C2S; Key fob: 120 lb. Sappi McCoy Gloss Cover; Key fob inner box: 24 pt. WestRock Tango C1S; Key fob outer box: 12 pt. WestRock Tango C1S

Production Details

Print Quantity 25,000 Finishing and Binding Die cutting, hand assembled with OLED lights
  1. Rachel Winston 5 years ago

    Your presentation was professional, clear, and impressive. The product was similarly impressive. What I like the most about PaperSpecs is how enlightened I feel afterward. I always leave with lots of ideas that I can apply to a completely different audience. I am an academic at the University of Chicago and Harvard, so it is a different world but these people can be inspired by ideas you bring too.

    • Aaron Berman 5 years ago

      Rachel, you made our day and it’s only 10 AM PT! Every week we do our best to feature an item that will inspire. We also hope you’ll find even more inspiration in your next VIP Box, which should be reaching you any day now if it hasn’t already 🙂

  2. Nancy 4 years ago

    Impressive, for sure. But since the electronics are not recyclable, it will just wind up in a landfill, and that I don’t appreciate.

    • Aaron Berman 4 years ago

      You raise a valid point, Nancy…

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