Friday, December 19, 2008

Making print advertising more relevant

To try these codes out on your own phone, text the word "scan" to 70734, or navigate on your phone to

You don't have to be paying much attention to know that traditional media is hurting. Newspapers, magazines, television, and so on. The current crisis is part of a trend that started years ago and will continue for years to come.

Although you could point in many directions, what's primarily at stake is ad spending. As more spending follows readers online, fewer ad dollars are available for print. Fewer ad dollars means less editorial.

Barcodes could enhance the relevance and usefulness of print advertisement. Imagine if you will the following scenario: I've met my date for dinner and we generally know we want to go to a movie. But which movie, what's good, when does it start, will it be crowded, etc? What's useful in this case is discovery in print, and completion on wireless. If I happen to have the newspaper movie listings page, a code like this, printed in the paper, could initiate a rich dialogue and learning experience.
I have no idea whether this code will expire in some way soon because it happens to be part of a service from If it happens to still be working when you try it, you'll see that it directs you to a particular theater and a particular film, and the times the film will be showing today.
Envision the opportunities available now that we have managed a transition to an electronic experience! You can read reviews. You can see how other regular people thought about the film. You can find the best showtimes. You can buy the tickets and use your phone as a proxy for the tickets themselves. On some phones you can watch a trailer of the film. You could find the nearest theater using location based services and even get directions.
We used the newspaper as the initial communication device, and we used the mobile to explore and seal the deal. This is an ideal combination, a mass communication mechanism calling out, and a highly personal mechanism allowing exploration and differentiation..

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