Could Technology Be the Savior of Traditional Media?

I went to visit my sister at The Scene Marketing Group last weekend, and she presented me with what I thought to be an ordinary magazine. She explained to me that it was the first issue of Beer West magazine. I find the beer industry interesting, so I thought this is cool but nothing special enough to entice me to blog about it, but here I am.

Beer West's Logo

She explained further and said the publisher, Megan Flynn, dropped into the office and showed them the fascinating new technology behind this magazine.

Now most people would see “fascinating new technology” and “magazine” in the same sentence and think this guy is ridiculous. Well, I am here to tell you that one, I am ridiculous, and two, Beer West magazine does use fascinating new technology.

Thanks to a company called Digimarc, traditional media joined the technologically advanced era. Through the smart phone application, Digimarc Discover, viewers of the magazine can access online media triggered by invisible watermarks within an image in the magazine. The online content contains everything from quizzes, videos, trivia, interactive maps and games, beer recipes, and brewery websites. The new phone application brings interactivity to traditional style media.

What does this mean for public relations?

Public relations is all about the conversation. This new program allows paper, music and video media to access another level of interactive conversation to the consumers. Magazines are thriving in today’s media because magazines have successfully become a niche market. Every  business could use Digimarc to advertise and create conversation through the niche market it belongs to. This new technology is also a great place to begin a branding campaign combining traditional media and social media.

This new application persuaded me to read the articles, and explore every picture with the Digimarc Discover logo on it to see where the application would take me. I filled out surveys, answered trivia, explored brewing companies websites and designed my very own beer coaster.

So, how does this work?

Well that is the best part. Digimarc Discover is so simple to use. An invisible watermark is inserted into the photo in the magazine. The phone application reads the watermark and takes you to the website connected with the watermark.

Step one:

  • Download the Digimarc Discover application on your iPhone or Android.

Step two:

  • Place phone approximately six inches above the image with the Digimarc logo on it.

    Digimarc Discover Logo

Step three:

  • Wait for the phone to find the invisible watermark on the photo, and the Digimarc logo will appear on the screen. Tap it!

Step four:

  • Enjoy the interactive world that the Digimarc photo takes you to.

This brilliant technology is measurable, effective, and has enormous potential for future applications.

We are a society that thrives on interactive, fast-paced information. Now, traditional media have hopped on the bandwagon and are providing consumers with extra content in the forms of games, news, tips, videos and interviews on your smart phone!

I know it looks as if Digimarc and Beer West hired me, but I promise it is not true. I wrote this blog post because after discovering the “new toy” for magazines, I spent two hours reading and playing with the Digimarc Discover application.

Take a look for yourself and read Beer West’s inaugural issue through the Digimarc Discover technology. It is sure to impress you too!

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!


About jedavis13

Student at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism and concentrating in public relations.
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8 Responses to Could Technology Be the Savior of Traditional Media?

  1. Erin Davis says:

    Nice, little brother! I was trying to explain how cool this was to a client, and realized I had given you my copy :-/

    Visit again soon! I’ll let you in on all the technology secrets.

  2. Damon Knight says:

    Great post, Jesse! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Beer West and Digimarc Discover. I wish I’d seen this earlier, we would have invited you to the Beer West Launch Party last night. The next time you’re up from Eugene, feel free to drop me an email and perhaps we can arrange you to visit our office and see some of the other stuff we’re working on.

    Erin. So sorry that Jesse ran off with your issue. Brothers(!) I’ve put some more copies in the mail for you – sent to your attention at The Scene Marketing Group. (Great site, by the way.) We’re doing a launch in the next few weeks which might be of interest. So stay tuned …

    All the best,


    Damon Knight
    Marketing Programs Manager
    Digimarc Corporation

  3. jedavis13 says:

    I would really like that Damon! Is Digimarc Discover in any other magazines right now or coming soon? I got the app and I just want to use it! It adds so much to traditional media.

    Jesse Davis

  4. Damon Knight says:

    Perfect. Just let me know when you’re going to be up in the Portland area. Our office in Beaverton … across 217 from Washington Square.

    Yes, Digimarc Discover will be used throughout the next issue of Photoshop User (March/April issue). You should be able to find issues at Fred Meyer … and maybe the UO Bookstore. You should check it out.

    I expect many more launches and pilots in 2011 … publications, packaging, etc. Stay tuned in the next week or so … for an exciting announcement.

    So glad you enjoyed Digimarc Discover in the recent issue of Beer West … and … took the time to blog about it.

    All the best,



    • jedavis13 says:

      I would really enjoy coming out and seeing the office. I think I will be coming to Portland in the next few weeks so I will let you know! Also, having Digimarc Discover in Photoshop User is a great idea and a perfect place to promote your product. Let me know when this comes out and I will have to pick up a copy.


      • Damon Knight says:

        Perfect! Just let me know when you’ll be in town, and we’ll arrange something. I just received the March issue of Photoshop User in the mail. I’m thinking it should show up on the stands in the next few weeks.

        Looking forward to meeting.

        If you need to reach me by phone, call the front desk at 503.469.4800 and ask for me.


  5. jedavis13 says:

    As stated in my comment policy (the song version) I must note when I edit my work. I found some minor styling errors and have fixed them. I am a growing writer and would love to have my writing critiqued, so if you see an error please feel free to point it out! Thank you everyone.

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