Po-Boys and Tags

In today's The New York Times, the city of New Orleans ran a full-page advertisement to promote the city's food, music and events, as well as travel deals. The ad features a Microsoft Tag, which is branded with the same fleur-de-lis icon that is also used in the campaign logo ("It's New Orleans - You're different here.").

While the Tag is well positioned and sized, and offers a strong call-to-action, I question the copy that is used to describe the Tag and what a reader is suppose to do with it. The copy to the right of the Tag says, "Snap It. Snap this tag with your mobile phone for Spicy Summer Deals, free New Orleans music, deals and event info. The Microsoft Tag app is free at http://gettag.mobi". First, only smart phones with a reader app can scan 2D barcodes, not just any mobile phone as mentioned in the copy. Second, the copy does not fully define the app to download as the app which enables the reader to scan the Tag. There's a little bit of a disconnect.

For readers who may have never seen a Microsoft Tag before, let alone a 2D barcode, all of this is new to them, so the descriptive text which accompanies a code really needs to be explicit and very much step-by-step. To accomplish this is a limited amount of space is, of course, the great challenge, but advertisers need to fully and properly explain 2D barcodes if they wish to have fast and widespread acceptance of the technology, let alone a decent ad response/scan rate.

Also, from a more strategic sense, what about all of those people who do not have the ability to scan the Tag, because they do not have a smart phone (still the majority of mobile phone users). There should be a shortened URL next to/near the Tag so that non-smart phone users can access the same information and deals.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 15, 2010

    Microsoft really screwed up by staying in Beta far too long. Had they come out in early '09, they might have established themselves in the market before the Q2 2010 competition heated up.

    They are a great Tag, but, this post is absolutely correct: No one knows what to do with them and no one is going to download a Microsoft Tag Reader at this point.

    Plus, there should be the option for non Reader access to content. I like the new reader/readerless options coming to market -- best of both worlds. i.e. with a Reader, quick; without a Reader, it's effectively a visual keyword sent to a short code or email.

    Why any Brand would commit to using a Microsoft Tag at this point? Either a lack of knowledge or Microsoft are coining-in on the media buy?