Tag! You're It

It only took about three months, but I finally found one, a print advertisement from Microsoft which features one of their own Tags.

When I first read the ad, it seemed well-designed and thought out, branded Tag and all, but then it dawned on me, the ad's call to action is extremely weak, especially as it relates to the Tag. The call to action reads, "See how you can make it great with new Office 2010 at office.com/2010 or snap tag below." Whether the reader acts on the call to action by either scanning the Tag or going to the URL, nothing more than a trial download or the ability to purchase the software is offered. So I ask Microsoft, why bother with a Tag, or the ad in general, if nothing of value, benefit or enhanced customer experience is being offered to the reader?

Another item that I noticed, in the instructions to download the reader app it says "phone" not "smart phone," and I wonder why the ad is not as specific as it should or needs to be. As far as I know, 2D barcodes can only be read by smart phones, so why doesn't Microsoft make the distinction? For readers who own a non-smart phone and attempt to download the app and scan the code, what kind of experience will they end up having? A lousy one, that's what. Is Microsoft comfortable with this?

For a company that has spent a lot of time, money and resources to develop and promote their own proprietary 2D barcode platform (i.e., Tag), all of this comes as a surprise, and I wonder what the company's true objectives are for this advertisement. I certainly don't get a sense that Microsoft is looking to take the time to inform and educate consumers about 2D barcodes, let alone Tags. Perhaps Microsoft just assumes that people already know about 2D barcodes and there is no need to inform and educate.

1 comment:

  1. There is now something called a snaptag which you can snap with a camera phone & send to a short code, to get a text back, but I see it being the same outcome. No relevant info, plus not easy to make like a qr code.