Jessica Simpson Collection uses Microsoft Tag

Jessica Simpson, the women's fashion clothing and accessories company, recently launched a print advertisement, which displays a customized Microsoft Tag. Scanning the Tag resolves to a video which shows behind-the-scenes footage of Jessica's fall photo shoot.

No doubt the company earns points for making use of a 2D barcode in its advertising, but I believe points should be taken away based on the ad's weak call-to-action, which is tied to the Tag. The behind-the-scenes video is little more than a commercial, but not by much, and I wonder where the true value or enhanced customer experience comes in. Why not offer readers who scan the code a chance to win a trip to the company's next major photo shoot or fashion show? Or give readers a chance to win $500 of assorted Jessica Simpson merchandise. To me, offers and or calls-to-action like these would drive greater consumer interest and interaction with 2D barcodes.

Lastly, something that I keep noticing and wondering about with ads that use Microsoft Tags...where did "snap" come from, as in "Snap this Tag." Am I the last to know that "snap" means "click" when using a mobile camera? And if a reader doesn't even know what the code icon or symbol means, how are they to know that Tag is the descriptor for it? Little things to wonder about, perhaps, but if it is a matter of changing consumer behavior and habits, I wonder how little they really are.


  1. It doesn't even seem they were prepared for this campaign. The site is not designed. The header is HTML5 Video Test. One of the biggest hurdles for using 2D barcodes is going to be ensuring the mobile experience the consumer engages with is worth it, not just some throw away content. They spent more time designing the Tag than they did on the site.

  2. Regrettably, you are correct on all your points.

    If you combine this, with other recent Posts here about less than wonderful campaigns (or, completely failed campaigns), without being interspersed with success stories, what does this indicate? Will the early-days of QR/2D codes be the end-days? Will consumers try it once, then either be frustrated or feel it's a waste of time and not return.

    The parallels to Brands buying up Islands in SECOND LIFE and then not creating meaningful and repeat engagement virtual world events that added value to people's "first life" seems worth considering. Have you been in SECOND LIFE lately? It's a vast wasteland of abandoned Branded Islands.

    It would be nice to see some controversy and some counter-arguments appear here. This is a timely and interesting Blog, but it needs dissenting voices and additional perspectives. If we keep the dialogue running, maybe we'll avoid the mistakes other emerging advertising formats have fallen victim to?

    To this specific Jessica Simpson campaign: It's target is Female. What do girls' want? A behind the scenes video? Or, a rotating series of conversations with Jessica? Or, as you suggest, some tangible contest or incentive? It's still a recession and Simpson's target audience are pinching pennies, they don't need a damned video on their phone. What a massive disconnect!

    I've seen this before, where a new technology is used at a "gimmick" level and not one of substance. It leads to failure.

  3. Gentlemen, thank you for your comments. Please see my blog post tomorrow in which I hope to tie in a number of the comments made here. But to the matter at hand...time and again I shake my head at television or print advertisements that are just absurd and I ask myself, how on earth did the brand sign-off on this creative. The same with many of the 2D campaigns cited on this blog...how did the ad get the green light if certain items were not in place or if the call to action was weak, etc. The unfortunate side of all of this is that the 2D technology will be to blame, as opposed to the ineptitude of the creative director or CMO, etc. Talk about throwing money away.