Tag Archives: QR Code

Much Ado About Nothing: Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Post Mortem

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When the buzzing stops, and the confetti is swept up from the Canyon of Heroes, the memory of the Giant’s Super Bowl victory will quickly fade from memory.

But Monday (and the next few days) is all about the stats.

How many people watched the game (111.3 million)?

Which commercial generated the most views online (Honda)?

What were the Tweets Per Second (TPS) during the half-time show (10245) and last three minutes of the game (12,000)?

How many social media comments were made during the Super Bowl (12.2 million)?

How many views of the top five commercials were generated (63.5 million)?

From a viewing audience perspective, Super Bowl XLVI was a record breaking/setting year.

What does it all mean?

A big fat donut hole!

It doesn’t mean a friggin’ thing!

Bear with me for a moment.

The real impact of these numbers will be seen in the days, weeks and months that follow.

And it will be judged, not by the bragging rights of the advertisers who created these commercials.

And if I were any one of them, I wouldn’t be bragging too much – this year’s crop of commercials were so blasé.

The success of these uber expensive commercials will be judged by whether their clients, who forked over big bucks for these prime time slots, actually made any money.

Not one cares, really cares, about how often their commercial was watched on YouTube if it doesn’t drive consumer behavior.

If you don’t buy a Coca Cola, Pepsi, bag of Doritos, purchase a Honda, Chevy, Acura, Cadillac, an insurance policy, go to the movies to see The Lorax, Act of Valor, G.I. Joe, or watch Swamp People on tv, then the J.W. Morton & Associates, Wieden & Kennedy, CP&B, and Red Tettemer & Partners of the world failed miserably in the performance of their high-priced jobs.

The reality of the Super Bowl spots is that there is no real way of knowing whether they were effective or not.

Sure we’ll share them, comment upon them, spoof them and they’ll be the fodder of countless water cooler chats.

But how many of us were actually influenced to do anything because we watched them?

For all the Tweets that flashed across connected devices, how many contained a purchase decision?

One problem (as I see it) was that there were no explicit calls to action.

With the exception of GoDaddy (QR code), the NFL Fantasy promotion (short code and keyword), or any of the brands that used hashtags or a Facebook page (and only immediately during the broadcast), there was no way to track the efficacy of any commercial.

For advertisers and marketers, it’s all about the numbers.

And when the biggest driver for the makers of these commercials was views alone, a huge opportunity was lost.

I know you’re thinking, “it’s a commercial, shouldn’t I be looking for as many eyeballs as possible?”

Well yes, and no.

Yes. You get what you paid for. Advertisers witnessed the most highly watched Superbowl of all times (I think). So eyeballs were in abundance.

No. We live in an age where social media is increasingly important.

If you’re looking at social media as another venue to air your commercial, then you’re missing the point.

Social media enables deeper level of engagement than a simple one-way commercial.

But most of the advertisers who created these commercials, missed the point, entirely.

Years from now, when we think about the winners and losers from Super Bowl XLVI, I doubt we’ll remember any of these commercials, but rather, how many missed the opportunity to do something…memorable.

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, mobile, opinion, social media

QR Codes or SnapTags: What’s Better For Your Brand?

Which is better?

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the different tools brands could use for mobile engagement of their audiences.

Two of those tools, QR codes and SnapTags, generated a slight buzz, and I thought I’d explore them a bit deeper today.

Kris was definitely not checking for QR codes.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard all about QR codes.

They’re those strange looking blocks with squiggly lines and boxes inside of them.

They’re on magazines, in subways, on business cards, the sides of soda cans, on posters, even in commercials and television programs.

If you’ve got a QR code reader on your mobile phone, you can snap a QR code, and unlock a text message, a picture or be navigated to a static web page, video or trigger an mp3.

SnapTags are a little more sophisticated than they’re less aesthetic cousin.

SnapTags are rings, with visual information aligned in a pattern of bars and breaks, that impacts what content is accessed by a compatible reader app.

What makes SnapTags unique is the fact that each tag also has a unique short code, enabling people without smart phones to send and receive text messages which will connect them with the associated campaign.

Both QR Codes and SnapTags accomplish essentially the same thing: navigating the user to a particular destination or piece of content.

So which is better?

To hear Spyderlynk tell it, SnapTags are better.

Among the reasons they give for why, include:

Better looking. Why have a blurry blog of blocks, when you can promote your complete logo (in a ring)?

Easier to use. Unlike QR Codes, which require a QR code reader, SnapTags work with any camera phone that can send and receive texts.

Web not required. SnapTags work whether you have an internet connection or not. If you can send and receive a text, you can still take advantage of SnapTags.

Comprehensive analytics. Because SnapTags can be triggered in multiple ways, you can generate and track layered analytics.

SnapTag's self-serving diagram.

Despite their superior looks, ease of use and utility with or without an internet connection, SnapTags do have their drawbacks.

For one, they’re not free. In order to create a SnapTag and utilize it, you’ve got to pay Spyderlynk to set up a campaign for you.

Since they don’t publish their prices on their website, we can assume it’s not cheap.

QR Codes, on the other hand, are free, and don’t require any elaborate set up to enable.

A second shortcoming is the fact that SnapTags are proprietary. You can only create a SnapTag through Spyderlynk, and (presumably) every new campaign requires a new ring.

QR Codes aren’t quite ‘open-source’ but there are a number of free QR Code generators, and you can create as many different codes for as many different campaigns as you can dream up.

Finally, SnapTags are relatively new and not particularly widespread. While several major campaigns have used SnapTags (Neutrogena, Coors Light, Toyota), there’s no rush on them quite yet.

QR Codes have been around for several years, and although they are not the dominant standard, they are very well recognized and heavily used.

I, for one, think SnapTags are pretty fresh. The multiple things you can do, the aesthetic appeal, the ability to maximize the full breadth of mobile marketing, truly make it a marketers playground.

If you’re thinking about jumping in to mobile marketing, and don’t know whether QR Codes or SnapTags are right for you, try them both out and decide for yourself.

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll see if I can help you decide!

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Filed under branding, mobile, opinion

What’s Playing? Get the !mpulse!

One of the main projects I’ve been working on, is a technology initiative called !mpulse.

“What’s !mpulse?” you ask.

!mpulse is an interactive platform that let’s you experience a venue’s music library directly from your internet/wi-fi enabled mobile or tablet device.

!mpulse enables people to discover and get music wherever they hear it.

!mpulse displays the currently playing, and the previous nine (9) songs played at an !mpulse-enabled venue.

Wi-Fi capable mobile devices, like the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry and Android devices, can immediately display the song that is currently playing, comment on, share via Facebook or Twitter, or even play the song right from their device.

By bridging the gap between desire and action, !mpulse also allows users to explore a venue, its music library, or the particular artist which inspired them in the first place.

We’ve rolled at !mpulse (Beta) at a few select destinations, including Red Rooster Harlem, Tillman’s NYC and we’re rolling out Townhouse Hotel in Miami, 1300 Fillmore in San Francisco and more locations to be announced shortly.

Here are a few screen shots of !mpulse.

A screenshot of Townhouse Hotel's !mpulse page.

Select a song from the playlist and you'll get this page.

If you’re ever in New York, Harlem, Miami or San Francisco, please stop into one of these establishments and take !mpulse for a spin.

If you aren’t planning on being in any of these destinations, I’ve got a treat for you…snap either of the QR codes in this post, and you’ll be able to enjoy !mpulse on your own.

If you want to listen to a song, simply click on the album art to start playback.

Please send me your comments and let me know what you think!

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Filed under branding, mobile, technology

QR Codes are cool!

I generated this QR Code using QR Code Generator from the ZXing Project.

If you’re not up on anything that’s happening in the digital world, you probably haven’t peeped QR codes.

Although you’ve probably seen these weird squiggly things on business cards, flyers or maybe even the last time you went shopping at Macy’s, it probably escaped you that these little boxes were the wave of the future.

What is a QR Code?

Well Wikipedia describes a QR Code (short for Quick Response) as a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

The QR code above was generated using a free online QR code generator. To see what’s encoded, you’ve got to:

1.  Have a QR reader on your phone. If you’ve got an iPhone, I recommend QRReader. *Download it to your device.

2.  Open your QR reader on your device. If it seems like you’ve turned on your camera, it’s ok. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

3.  Point your camera at the QR reader until it’s centered on the screen.

4.  Watch the magic happen!

You can do really cool things with QR codes beyond simply sharing your information.

For example, you can launch a video, send text, trigger an SMS or direct viewers to a URL.

Here are a few more that I think you’ll enjoy:

Point your phone at this QR code for a sexy experience.

In this example our QR code launches a video on Vimeo of a short film produced by Firststar Films/Viral Cinema for Black Box a custom accessories boutique in Tribeca.

QR Codes can be used to generate text messages too!

Although this is just a sample, QR codes can generate real SMS/text messages, delivered right to your phone.

QR codes can trigger much more sophisticated actions, beyond simply opening a URL or driving simple text messages. In fact Google’s mobile Android operating system incorporates QR readers natively into it’s architecture, allowing it to trigger more complex processes.

Brands are only starting to flirt with QR codes in the States, but I project that as they start to proliferate, you’ll find more exotic and innovative things being done.

I hope this has been instructive, and feel free to reach out to me if you’ve got questions on QR codes, mobile, apps or whatever!

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Filed under mobile, technology