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‘House Beautiful’ becomes first Pinterest-enabled print magazine

Hearst Corporation’s House Beautiful, a home decorating magazine, will allow readers to pin images directly from the print version to Pinterest using a new Print-to-Pin solution from Digimarc Corporation, said Ed Knudson, Digimarc’s EVP of sales and marketing.

“Most publications are realizing very quickly that print has a long runway. It’s still a very immersive and emotional medium,” Knudson said. “[Publishers] are looking to enhance the print experience with some of these digital experiences and I think we’ll see more publications breathing new life into print.”

For the June issue, users can download either the HB Connect app or the Digimarc Discover App from the iTunes App Store to scan a watermark on the “Kitchen of the Month” feature in the print magazine. The watermark links readers to the article’s Pinterest pinboard, which displays the seven images from the print article. Readers can then re-pin the images to their own Pinterest pinboards, said Knudson.

Regardless of how many times a photo is pinned and re-pinned, it links back to the original advertiser, thus providing a clear marketing advantage, Knudson said. The images “maintain the quality of the brand,” he noted.

Using a watermark instead of a QR code also preserves the aesthetic of the creative work, Knudson said. “When you start slapping QR codes and tags all over the place it starts to cheapen the brand,” Kundson said.

Depending on the success of the Print-to-Pin solution, House Beautiful may expand its use of watermarks connecting to Pinterest, but ultimately it is up to House Beautiful to decide, Knudson said.

Though House Beautiful could not be reached for comment, editor-in-chief Newel Turner did say in a release that readers have already begun pinning images from the magazine’s pages on Pinterest.

Digimarc has previously worked with House Beautiful and other Hearst publications, including Food Network and Seventeen. Knudson said Digimarc is in talks regarding incorporating the Print-to-Pin solution in additional magazines under the Hearst umbrella, but declined to say which.

In March Hearst Digital Media partnered with Sprout, a mobile brand advertising platform, to enhance its mobile and tablet ad units for brands including Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.

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