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RFID-enabled Lexus Ad Debuts in Pages of Wired Magazine

The publication's readership can access information about the carmaker's new app suite, by tapping a mobile phone against an NFC label attached to an advertisement within its April edition.
By Claire Swedberg
Applying and testing the tag has required considerable research and innovation on Quad/Graphics' part, Kammerait says, noting that the company carried out several months' worth of testing to determine the tags' durability before applying them to magazine pages. That included putting the tags through washing machines, as well as through a postal process similar to being shipped in a magazine. "We found the tags were really durable," he states.

The company also designed an automated system to apply the RFID labels to the printed pages, and then tested the tags by reading each one prior to shipment. Kammerait declines to provide details regarding how that was accomplished, but says "the tags did really well" during this process.


Quad/Graphics' Matthew Kammerait
When a user places his or her NFC-enabled phone within a few centimeters of the label on the Lexus ad in the April issue, the phone opens a URL listing content concerning the new Enform app suite available with Lexus' 2013 GS automobile. The content begins with a video describing how the app suite functions, then transitions to a listing of specific applications, prompting users to select those of interest in order to learn more about them. The Enform app suite—designed to run on the 12.3-inch, high-resolution multimedia display built into the dashboard of each new vehicle—includes such online services as Yelp, Pandora, Bing and MovieTickets.com.

While Wired and Quad/Graphics first began planning the NFC advertisement in fall 2011, they opted not to implement the campaign until the April 2012 edition, in order to allow time for more NFC-enabled phones to be released. Although the quantity of NFC-enabled phones used within the United States is still small, Kammerait estimates that the percentage of mobile-phone users equipped with NFC-enabled handsets is slightly higher among Wired's readership, and is growing. Approximately five percent of the magazine's readers currently have NFC functionality on their phones, he says.

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