Friday, May 06, 2011

Codes key to clever campaigns

By Anita Brabham & Domonique Young

About a month ago we came across a presentation from PSFK on mobile tagging and were excited about its potential as a PR and marketing tool. Like so many other innovations, it slipped our mind until we heard a radio segment on the Australian Communication Exchange using the new technology to engage with deaf and hearing impaired people at museums.

For anyone who isn’t in the know, mobile tagging is a barcode, quick response code (QR code) or Microsoft tag that links to extra information about the tagged item via Smartphone technology. Everything from street signs to coffee cups can be coded. All you need to do is take a picture of the code with your phone to access extra information about the item or image. It’s a bit like a hyperlink that links the real world with the digital world.

To see this best at work (and ogle at the endless PR and marketing opportunities this app has), visit the National Sports Museum which transcribed museum audio talks tours into Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and consequently into mobile tags, or Auslan Smart, revolutionising the museum experience for the deaf and hearing impaired. Auslan Smart is the first of its kind in Australia.

In Spain, the postal authority Correos and mobile marketing company Macanudos joined forces to code postal stamps. Take a picture of the QR code with your phone and you were given destination info about Alhambra of the Granada region, or whatever landmark was on the stamp.

Another fine example was New York City Parks. They used mobile tagging at community events to celebrate Arbor Day and add another dimension to the works on display in Central Park. Magma Agency embedded old photographs, scenes from iconic films and music clips from Orchestras who’d played at the park in years past with mobile tags. Each work featured a small tree, which Magma dubbed ‘parknodes’ that housed the barcode. A digital map of the parknodes was plotted, a Facebook page set up and voila, a successful marketing campaign was born. If you’re interested, check out Magma’s video for more.

Like any effective PR and marketing strategy you need to give consumers a reason to take action and interact with you. While at first people might engage with this technology because it like sounds fun, truly effective strategists and marketers should understand their audience and deliver the info they would want.

The possibilities of mobile tagging are endless. Imagine magazines, print ads, tourist displays, books and music linked to extra juicy info or goss? Watch this space, because we think the technology will be used more and more in the future. Oh, and did we say it's currently free to create mobile tags (we don’t think this will last)? To start cracking codes on all your favourite products, simply visit your Smartphone app store and download a QR code reader application.

Mobile codes create clever campaigns. #PR #apps