Self Service Magazine Shows Us the Future of Advertising (We Hope)

It’s damn near impossible to distinguish paid and editorial content in these media-saturated, techno-crazed days. But for Parisian fashion mag Self Service, the difference hardly seems to matter. The magazine has just released an iPad app that comes equipped with revolutionary, interactive new ads. At first glance, the app seems to be a straightforward interpretation of the magazine: same spare typographic design with the emphasis on the photos. Play around with the digital rag, however (a single tap on individual editorial pages hides the copy), and it becomes clear that something entirely different is going on.

Tapping on the ads brings them to life in truly unexpected ways. Engaging the A.P.C. ad initiates a fast-motion stream of people walking in front of the ad, as if it’s been plastered on a wall in a metropolitan area. Tapping on the ad for Yves Saint-Laurent adds a colored skin to the photos, and more clicks place a giant YSL logo on top of the images. The Chloé perfume ad looks like a black and white image with a bottle of the fragrance on top of it, and after engaging the ad, a female hand reaches out to take the perfume bottle, returning it after a few seconds to lay flat on the photo.

I found the ads in Self Service to be just as interesting as the editorial content — something I’ve never said in my entire life. Furthermore, the ingenuity of the ads didn’t require geolocation or a Facebook Connect button. And the icing on the cake? The app is totally free in the iTunes store.

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