Last week, I wrote an article about Moen's Microsoft Tag-based advertisement that was recently launched in Real Simple magazine and, much to my surprise, I received a comment from one of the company's community representatives. (Question: What is a community representative and how is their job function involved with marketing, advertising and/or technology? Just curious.)
The community representative wrote to thank me for taking the time to review the ad, and went on to say, "We are proud of our new 2D barcode initiatives and were disheartened to see the outcome you had. (I failed the ad according to my 2D Barcode Litmus Test.) Unfortunately the issue was printed before the launch of our mobile website and you ended up visiting our temporary landing page instead of getting the true intended experience." Stop. Read the last sentence again. Why is it unfortunate that the issue was printed before the launch of their mobile website? That's not what's unfortunate. What's unfortunate is that the marketing/creative team did not adequately plan for the development of the mobile website, so that it would be finished and properly launched before the magazine's on sale date, a date that should be known to all advertisers. (I realize the on sale date may slip by days at a time, but the timing and launch of a major initiative, such as a mobile site, should not hang in the balance.)
The company's representative then went on to say, "The mobile site is now live, and I think that if you try the barcode again, you will see that all of your feedback is aligned to our original creative approach." With all due respect, and while that might be true, does the company plan to ask readers of the original ad to go back and rescan the code as well? What's done is done. Companies must realize that as with any form of marketing communication, a 2D campaign needs to be taken seriously from start to finish and given the time, energy and resources it needs to succeed. What's that saying about making a good first impression?