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How Brands Used the GQ Live! App
By: E. V. Perkins Jr.
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I flipped through more than 100 pages to see which brands made the most of GQ Magazine’s GQ Live! Mobile Application. This app lets you view additional content on all advertisements and featured editorial pieces in the September 2012 issue. It functions similarly to QR Codes. After launching the app, hold it over a page so that most of the page fills the viewfinder. In fact, let’s just say that QR Codes grew up. Brands approached this app in a variety of ways, but they appeared to fall into two categories: direct link to the mobile site or campaign video.
Sending customers directly to the website is a very logical approach. They see a product (i.e. a leather jacket) in an ad, scan it, and are led to where they can purchase it. Every ad had some type of link in it. Major fashion labels Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Calvin Klein sent customers to the homepage of their mobile site, regardless of which product the ad featured. This is a great method for brands that want consumers to explore the site and view other products. Andrew Marc took a different approach. When you scanned their ads, icons showed up on the featured garments. They told you the name of the product and after clicking on it, you’re sent directly to that products page. This is a very user-friendly approach because customers don’t have to search your website for the product, they're sent directly to it. Other brands, including Andrew Marc, added a link to one of their social media accounts. The gold star goes to Hilton Hotels. Their ad appeared to be designed specifically for the GQ Live app. They allowed you to view a slide show of their new hotels and included a direct link to their booking site.
Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and others used the GQ Live App to show videos. Most of the time, it was a TV commercial. Some brands, like Ermenegildo Zegna, took you behind the scenes with videos from their fashion show. In Odin New York’s ad, their designers described their vision for the brand and how they partnered with Target. To be honest, their video reminded me of something I’d find on a DVD’s Special Features section.
GQ Magazine used their own app to show behind-the-scenes videos and exclusive interviews on featured articles. I applaud them for opening it up to brands. It helps the magazine gain more ad revenue and gives brands the opportunity to integrate content across print, mobile, and web/social.

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About the Author
E. V. Perkins Jr. is a marketing and new media specialist in the Milwaukee-area. Learn more about him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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