Friday, April 8, 2011

Jaguar's first 2011 issue of its customer magazine an interesting take on the tablet publishing platform

Last fall I looked at the first iPad app released by Jaguar Cars Limited as part of an ongoing look at the automotive magazines being released by manufacturers. These customer publications are free from the monthly deadline grind, often with pretty healthy budgets, and no requirement that they one day turn a profit. Their goal is marketing alone.
Produced by the custom publishing division of Haymarket Market in the UK, that first tablet edition has been pulled from the App Store and in its place you will find Jaguar Magazine March 2011. Still free to download, the customer magazine is still a great ride, and very instructive for those publishers searching for an alternative look at tablet publishing.

This issue no offers both portrait and landscape. Instead, the app sticks to landscape, better to show off the video content embedded within. Like Project, Esquire and other new tablet editions, the magazine 'cover' (an increasingly outdated term, really they are 'splash' pages) is itself a video. In this case, however, Haymarket does not create layers like in the consumer magazines where text overlays the moving image, here is just a video of a blue XKR-S (prices start at $132,000, if you're interested).
The app is fairly simple in construction as it begins: full pages of content with scrolls to a secondary page. The navigation is smooth and the reader might get lulled into thinking this was a pretty minimal app.

The fun begins at the Jaguar E-Type story. It opens with a video and moves on to a series of photographs of the first E-Type Jaguar launched at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. Again, development-wise, this really isn't terribly complex stuff -- after all, that first page is simply a video and what follows are static pages. But I still find it effective from a reader's perspective.

I admit that I am a Jaguar driver, and so may be giving this app more credit than it is due. But I have always found the tablet editions released from the auto companies to be more interesting than much of the consumer magazines released. I also find that they produce more good ideas for me, as well.

(I've just downloaded Atomix Mag which promises to be a tour-de-force compared to this more modest effort, but will I find it more enjoyable?)