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Canadian Advertisers Promote Contest Via NFC, QR
Astral Outdoor and Newad are using Scanvee RFID/bar-code tags that can be read using smartphones, enabling a marketing campaign that lets consumers enter a contest to win prizes.
The trials, launched earlier this month, are expected to continue for 12 months, after which the advertising companies and GaugeMobile intend to evaluate the results. The OMAC contest will continue for four weeks, and Astral Outdoor and Newad expect to launch another campaign upon its completion.
The number of NFC reads performed on any of the posters or billboards is expected to be a small fraction initially, compared with 2-D bar-code scans. "The market is still very young for NFC technology," says Tony Vassiliev, GaugeMobile's CEO. Since he estimates that about three percent of phones currently in use are equipped with NFC readers, only a few individuals will utilize the NFC capabilities until the technology becomes more prevalent. For that reason, the 2-D QR bar code is included with an NFC chip on the posters.
The GaugeMobile software enables an advertiser to ask consumers to opt in to future promotions, Vassiliev says, but the two participating advertising firms have not taken advantage of this feature so far. Instead, they simply wanted to test how well the system attracted consumers' interest.
Although the majority of consumers may use the QR code, Vassiliev expects the more popular technology in the long run to be Near Field Communication. "The challenge we find for the QR code," he states, "is that it's fine for tech-savvy people, but there are many people who don't want to go through the steps required to scan that code." Approximately three steps are necessary to scan the QR code: initially downloading the bar-code scanning application, selecting the app and responding to prompts to access the bar-code scan data. The NFC solution does not require that a user download any apps, Vassiliev notes.
Vassiliev says he and his colleagues have spent a few hours in the vicinity of the bus stops, observing the public's response to the posters, but that he has no statistics at this time regarding how frequently the posters have been scanned or tapped, or what the overall rate of interest has been among those at the bus stops. As the pilot proceeds, he says, the advertising firms will vary the types of products being promoted, enabling them to compare and contrast the level of interest each offering generates.
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