Jones New York is using Microsoft Tags as part of a promotional campaign/merchandising display in Macy's Herald Square store. The campaign, which is titled "Empowering Your Confidence," makes use of a dozen or so Tags on a merchandise backdrop. Each Tag resolves to a different video and talks in some shape or form about the Empowering campaign. At the end of each video, shoppers are directed to a mobile website, which then links to pages on the company's main website.
Clever use of codes, or is it?
First, there are no instructions provided, other than the headline on the backdrop which says, "Snap Watch It." Without some sort of instructions how does a shopper know which code to scan first? Are they all the same? Should they start on the left and move right, or vice versa? Are they missing something important if they don't take the time to scan each one? Yes, there are instructions for where and how to download a Tag reader app.
Second, the videos run from about one minute up to about five minutes. In actuality, due to buffering, it takes even longer than the said run time to view most of the videos, and videos of this length (i.e., 90 seconds and more) are simply too long in a mobile setting. Also, some of the longer videos stopped running about half-way through, after an error message comes on screen.
Third, as mentioned above, the videos all end at a mobile website where shoppers can learn more about the Empowering campaign. From this mobile site, shoppers are then directed to Jones' main website, which is not a mobile version of the site. Why direct mobile shoppers to a non-mobile website?
Fourth, after all is said and done, there is nothing being offered to shoppers for having to go through one video, two videos or more. Where's the value? Where's the benefit? What drives a shopper further along the purchase path, especially since the shopper is right there in the very department where the company's merchandise can be found? Also, where's the call to action?
Fifth, why design a merchandise backdrop knowing that the clothes are going to cover up a number of the codes? Why bother printing the codes in this location or designing a display in this manner to begin with?
Sixth, in full disclosure, I scanned the codes off of a picture that was sent to me, but I wonder how good the Internet connection is within the store to scan the codes and access the content. There can always be a dead zone in a building, did the company test the area in Macy's beforehand?
Seventh...I'll stop here.
While I have no idea what Jones' objective is for this particular campaign (I also do not know if Tags are being used in other channels), and it is always great to see another one in the marketplace, I have a hard time believing the company's marketing department is going to be blown away by the scan rates, let alone merchandise sales. There are a number of other ways 2D codes could be used in retail, which, I believe, could be much more effective.
Granted, I am not a Jones New York customer, but I can only imagine that a true fan of the company would be a bit disappointed/frustrated by this 2D campaign. Please read that again...disappointed/frustrated by this 2D campaign. I did not say that the Empowering campaign as a whole does not make sense or is without merit.
(Thank you Ralf)