Scribner uses Microsoft Tag

Scribner, the book publisher, ran this full-page advertisement in The New York Times to promote Stephen King's latest novel, Full Dark No Stars. Featured in the lower left hand corner of the advertisement is a Microsoft Tag.

Stephen King Microsoft Tag

When the code is scanned, the reader is shown a 30-second trailer for the book, the use of which is now becoming more and more common in the publishing world. While the ad does a good job prompting the reader to watch a video on their smartphone and providing the location to download a free reader app, the trailer does a less than good job in delivering any real value or benefit to the consumer or, more importantly, an existing Stephen King fan.

Stephen King Microsoft Tag

At the end of the video, the viewer is left with nothing other than a URL address for the book's own website, and a splash screen which indicates that the book is on sale wherever books are sold. Why not provide a link to this book locator page, which can be found on the book's website? Or, what about an mCoupon or list of places where Mr. King maybe doing a book signing? Even a button to share or like the trailer would be of greater value to some.

Scribner was thoughtful enough to create and develop a website, a trailer video and a 2D-based print advertisement for the book, but it seems as though less thought was put into asking the overarching question, what value can we provide for customers through 2D technology. It's almost like racing yards and yards to the end zone, only to fumble on the one.  

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