Sabre Yachts uses Microsoft Tag

Sabre Yachts, a motor and sail boat manufacturer, recently launched a print advertisement, which featured a Microsoft Tag. As an avid sailor, it's great to finally see a company in the marine industry make use of 2D technology but, unfortunately, it does not appear as though Sabre Yachts gave the 2D/mobile experience and use of the technology much thought and consideration.

To begin, why does the company list the Tag reader app's URL without referencing what the Tag is, how the Tag requires a reader app in order to be scanned, where the URL links to, etc. etc.? Is the company just speaking to early adopters, those who already know this is a Tag and what reader app is needed to scan it? If that's the case then why bother listing the URL? If the company is speaking to consumers in general then the URL standing alone means and does very little to help a consumer (i.e., a non-early adopter) experience the Tag.

Additionally, there is no call to action, no offer being made to the consumer in relation to the Tag, so why are they taking the time to scan the Tag, let alone figure out the process to do so?

When the Tag is scanned, the reader of the ad is brought to the product page for the boat featured in the advertisement, nothing more, nothing less. Not an ideal and/or terribly engaging use of the technology.

There is plenty the company could have done with the ad to differentiate itself versus the competition, provide a remarkable 2D/mobile experience, create media buzz and, last but not least, drive product sales.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL


  1. AnonymousJune 05, 2011

    I'm trying to wrap my head around the user experience of a person with a print magazine and a mobile device?

    Are you are both old-school enough to hang with print magazines are you are digitally obsessed so that your phone is right next to you?

    And, if presented a Code will you really want to leave the refuge of a magazine and fire up your phone? At which point you'll then have to check email, Twitter, Facebook, text messages and stock prices?

    Or, is the magazine really a refuge from all that?

    Would I read this magazine at my desk (when I would have my laptop or desktop handy and prefer to type in a URL)? Or, on my couch, at home, when I'm trying to get some down time and dream about my next boat?

    Are codes in magazines fundamentally in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is it unnatural?

    I'm sort of inclined to think it's more oil and water than peanut butter and chocolate.

  2. AnonymousJune 05, 2011

    Sorry, correction on Para. 2:

    Are you both old-school enough to hang with print magazines are you are digitally obsessed so that your phone is right next to you?

  3. Brad DunleavyJune 06, 2011

    Check out Boating Magazine - you'll be glad to see codes in the current issue. I'm a boat-guy too!