Although it is in vogue to downplay the value of print marketing versus digital marketing, in many luxury real estate markets we are working in, print still plays a dominant part in a luxury real estate agents’ marketing budget.  Many sellers still insist on seeing their homes prominently displayed in a luxury magazine, the local newspapers, as well as in digital format.   Those agents who are using print media also began using QR’s aka Quick Response squares used to drive traffic to the websites for more buyer information.  The majority of luxury real estate ads looks identical—house shots and head shots.

In the upcoming April publication of Vanity Fair, several luxury brand print advertisers (Ralph Lauren, Prada, Versace and Chanel) have upgraded their print ads to an art form aimed at the affluent consumers. This focus to print advertising as an art form sets apart the luxury brands in a digitally focused world.  In this issue Chanel shot an entire 8 page campaign in black-and-white, taking a definite artistic route.  Given this emerging trend, the average looking ad will be overlooked. The house and head shot ad has to be rethought.

Another new technological advance is embedding an invisible watermark in the print ad; here is a quote from Digimarc the source of this new technology,

“The Digimarc Discover™ Online Services Portal embeds imperceptible digital watermarks into images or behind text without additional software. Detectable by today's most popular smart phones — your digitally watermarked content will deliver a wide range of new, rich media experiences to readers and consumers of your printed content.” 

In the April issue of Saveur Magazine, Starwood Hotels and Resorts who is the first in using this new technology explained their strategy:

“We had previously advertised in this publication and we were looking for ways to drive users to the Web more effectively, if not sooner,” said Michael Troy, Honolulu, HI-based director of field marketing at Starwood. ”This initiative allowed us to have users go right to content while still reading a magazine without having to go to a desktop or laptop computer. The publication’s targeted audience matched the demographics we want to be in front of with a visual message,” he said. “It also allows us to more effectively measure print views by tallying those users that went to the link via the print ad link.”

Unlike the QR square, the watermark is invisible to the eye, which makes the ad work as a unique entity.  The watermark is only visible if you have downloaded the app, and the phone will detect the watermark.  Readers can access the ad’s content on their Smartphone’s by pointing the phone’s camera at the full-page ad.  More than one watermark can be embedded in the ad for additional content and interaction.

Innovation is the hallmark of a market leader.  This new technology leverages the effectiveness of your print advertising for luxury real estate marketing and sets you apart from your competition.  Become known as an early adapter of new technology and stay on the leading edge.


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