Tag Archives: QR codes

Move over QR Codes. Good night SnapTags. Augmented reality is here!

A few months ago, I was looking at the back cover of a box of cereal and noticed something pretty interesting.

There was a complete takeover by the latest Spiderman movie, and (more importantly) there was an app.

If you downloaded the app, you would be able to see an advance clip from the movie.

Intrigued, I downloaded the app, dialed it up on my iPhone, and pointed it at one of the frames on the box…

And suddenly, the scene on the box came to life and I was watching a clip from the movie on the box!

Rather, on the box on my phone.

I had never experienced that before.

There were no weird wiggly lines or ringed logo required to access the video.

No separate browser window.

I just aimed my phone at what looked like a frame from a Spiderman comic strip…and viola!

Mind you, I’m a fan of QR Codes and SnapTags.

I’ve written about them a few times.

I think they’re immensely useful for driving interactions between brands and consumers.

At the time, I had no idea what technology was powering the Spiderman experience on the cereal box.

And while I found it novel, I didn’t explore it any deeper.

But a few days ago, a colleague shared a Ted talks link with me about augmented reality.

The video talked about how brands were exploring ways to integrate augmented reality into their apps.

I realize that my explanation of the Spiderman cereal box leaves much to be desired.

So check out the video from the Ted talk, which explains (and demonstrates) augmented reality with far greater clarity.

The technology Matt was demonstrating was developed by a company called Aurasma, which is one of the pioneers of augmented reality apps.

I definitely see augmented reality as the wave of the future.

The possibilities are literally limitless.

And the opportunities for brands to engage in immersive and increasingly interactive ways are even more limitless.

And I’m not talking about donning a helmet or a pair of glasses – I’m talking about having rich, interactive layered experiences by simply pointing your phone at an object.

But don’t take my word for it.

Keep an eye out for augmented reality coming to an app near you.

If you want to get a jump on the whole augmented reality movement, check out the Aurasma app in the iTunes App store.

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Filed under apps, digital advocacy, mobile, technology

Super Bowl XLVI: Social Media FAIL!!

The Super Bowl commercials integration of social media=FAIL.

This weekend, I, like most, watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots to become the Super Bowl XLVI Champions.

But unlike most, who were likely concerned with the outcome of the game, I was watching to see how the advertisers, who had forked over a pretty penny, integrated social media in their ads.

With ads going for up to $3 million dollars for a 30 second spot, I figured that advertisers would go the extra mile to make sure that their ads got all the traction they could.

At a minimum, I figured most (if not all) the advertisers would add websites, Facebook URLs or Twitter handles into their ads.

But I fully expected that at least one or two advertisers would realize the tremendous potential in social media, and do something more exciting.

To me, that meant leveraging social media, and integrating text messaging, QR codes, SnapTags, etc., in interesting and innovative ways.

So it was with rapt attention, that I waited for each time out, 2 minute warning, quarter and tv time out.

I sat through over 75 different commercials (excluding pre-show, post-show and half-time), and I was saddened…saddened by what I saw.

Not only were the commercials…ho hum, but they completely missed their mark from a social media perspective.

The most “innovative” use of social media (and I use innovative so loosely as to have absolutely no meaning in this context) was by the NFL itself.

Their NFL Fantasy promotion gave viewers the chance to win a million dollars.

Viewers could either text NFL to 69635 or visit the NLF Fantasy website to register for the contest.

Beyond that, advertisers brought nothing exciting (from a social media perspective) at all.

There were a collection of advertisers that used hashtags.

Hashtags are the # symbol, used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet.

It was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages and used widely to track a particular topic in Twitter.

  • Audi’s #solongvampires played on the brightness of the Audi’s headlights.
  • Bud Light’s #makeitplatinum highlighted the new platinum Budweiser beer.
  • Best Buy’s #betterway hashtag alluded to the depth of their mobile phone offering.
  • H&M used #beckhamfromh.m in it’s ad with David Bekham, sporting their new trunks.

Spectacular! NOT!

Some of the more “progressive” (again, I use the term loosely) advertisers, added their Facebook pages to their ads.

  • Disney’s The Lorax
  • Marvel Comic’s The Avengers
  • Cars.com
  • Bud Light’s spots (LMFAO and Here We Go)
  • Pepsi Max
  • MetLife
  • NBC
  • Samsung Galaxy

Amazing! NOT!

A few advertisers also listed their websites, including:

  • Godaddy (.co and .com)
  • Taxact.com
  • Chevy (letsdothis.com)
  • Teleflora.com, Cars.com
  • Prudential (dayonestories.com)
  • Honda (leaplist.honda.com and cr-v.honda.com)
  • BMW (tristatebmw.com)
  • GE Works (ge.win.com)
  • Hyundai (hyundai.com)
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • Cadillac ATS
  • NBC’s new show Awake (isheawake.com)

Inspired! NOT!

GoDaddy was the one advertiser who used a QR Code in their commercial.

But for a 30 second ad, I didn’t think it was the best execution.

When the commercial came on, and I saw the QR Code, I immediately tried to open my iPhone, launch the QR code scanner, move to the tv and scan the image.

But by the time I had completed all those steps, the code was gone and they were on to the next commercial.

One interesting thing I noted, was that a few advertisers with music in their commercials, had the Shazam logo in the corner.

Shazam is the app that helps you find out the title of a song you’re listening to.

Shazam...sucks!

By letting the Shazam app ‘listen’ to several seconds of a song, it searches it’s database and (if the song exists in it’s database) tells you the title and artist.

Ads from both Cars.com and Toyota had the Shazam logo.

My previous experiences with Shazam have been so underwhelming, that I no longer have the app on my iPhone.

So I didn’t determine whether the Shazam integration worked for either of these brands.

And since it would have (presumably) led the viewer to the underlying song in the commercials, I’m not sure what value the advertisers would have derived from it’s integration.

Anyway, nothing from my wish list came to be.

My disappointment is palpable.

I guess we’ll have to wait another year before we see whether advertisers ‘get it’ and utilize their 30 seconds a little more effectively.

If you want to see all the commercials that aired yesterday, AdAge has a great compilation of them here.

But don’t blame me if you’re bored.

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

Superbowl XLVI and Social Media: A Wish List

Which brands will freak social media this year?

Tomorrow night, the New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI.

While most will be focusing on the game, for marketers, talk always turns to the commercials that air during the game.

With an estimated audience of 111 million, advertisers are queued up to spend $3 million for a thirty second spot, all in hopes of making an impact on that audience.

A well executed commercial can leave an impression on viewers that will last for months afterward and translate into money well spent by the brand(s) that get it right.

Volkswagon’s Young Vader commercial, which aired during Superbowl XLV has garnered over 50 million views to date, and was by far, one of the most popular commercials of the game.

While talk usually revolves around what Superbowl commercials the big brands are planning, I’m more interested in seeing how (and whether) these same brands integrate social media into their campaigns.

Aside from making their commercials available on YouTube (which is valuable), I’m curious as to how many have planned more comprehensive social media campaigns.

I’d imagine that we’re going see a number of calls-to-action involving ‘liking’ this brand or that on Facebook.

Quite passe, if you ask me.

But aside from the standards, like this or follow that, are any of these brands thinking outside of the box?

My wish list for this year’s Superbowl is to see brands utilizing social media in new and innovative ways.

I, for one, am going to be keeping a watchful eye for anything extraordinary tomorrow.

I’m also going to be looking out for which commercials create the biggest buzz during the game.

Which commercials are trending on Twitter?

Which brands get people updating their status with ‘LMFAO’s?

Which commercials get shared the most?

SMS. SnapTags. QR Codes. Spoof videos. Mobile-only content. I’m expecting it all!

Since my Cowboys were unceremoniously drummed out of Superbowl contention by the Giants (damn you Eli!), I’ve got no skin in the game.

So, don’t worry. I won’t be distracted rooting for any team. I know you were concerned.

I’ll keep a scorecard of who did what, paying special attention to the campaigns that tricked out their social media components.

Check in Monday for my post-game survey.

Go <fill in the name of your team here>!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, social media