O, The Oprah Magazine uses ScanLife Barcodes

In the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, there is a two-page advertisement, which features nine different products, each with a corresponding ScanLife barcode. At the beginning of the ad (the upper left-hand corner of the top page below), there is full disclosure as to what the codes are, how to scan them and what they offer. Throughout the ad, each product has a picture and short descriptive copy.

Overall, this is a well thought out and designed campaign and, what I believe, is the first time 2D codes have been shown in this magazine. In speaking with a representative of ScanLife, this is an in-house advertisement that was done by the publisher to offer advertisers a value-add, which is a tactic we have seen other publishers use (Islands, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure). Instead of readers viewing a product ad and not being able to immediately act on it, the codes offer readers the opportunity to do just that by linking to a website, product page, video, etc., or even to have the ability to purchase online. EZcodes were used in the ad, as opposed to QR codes, due to space limitations on the page.

While it makes perfect sense that codes can be used/offered as a value-add from the publisher to the advertiser, the real value-add comes from what the advertiser can offer the reader who scans the code. This is what will eventually make a 2D campaign a true success or not.


  1. One thing that's difficult for Agencies to quickly understand is the install base of different Readers (US market for now).

    How many Scanlife Readers (needed for QR and EZ)?

    How many MS Tag Readers?

    How many general QR Readers?

    That would be terrific information to gather.

  2. Yet another in a long line of publishing driven campaigns. Great to see this space embrace 2D so thoroughly. I like that they presented the instructions but wonder why the redirects are still going to standard web pages. I believe the Eucerin code took me to one of the heaviest pages I've yet to visit on my iPhone. Mr. Marquis, maybe you can tell me why companies waste the opportunity to truly engage the reader? I mean to me this looks like vanity pure and simple..."HEY, I'M MOBILE...HEAR ME WORLD".

  3. Ananymous: Going forward, please know that I greatly appreciate your reading the blog and commenting, so, in the interest of time and space, I will dispense with the "Thank you" in each of my replies.

    I don't know why the providers are slow to release reader download information. Perhaps they do not want to tip their hand from an overall strategic standpoint, and the numbers are not as strong as they would like people to believe. I don't wish to speculate any further, but perhaps I can gather some data on this.

    With respect to why companies continue to link codes to standard pages and not mobile, I believe you have answered this yourself many times over in your comments...there's too many people involved making decisions surrounding a 2D campaign, not enough knowledge, not enough experience, shortsightedness, no desire to offer value or benefit to the customer, etc., take your pick.