Microsoft Tags on the Fairway

In this month’s issue of Golf magazine, there are three advertisements from golf equipment company TaylorMade, which feature Microsoft Tags.

Two full-spread ads promote the new ball that TaylorMade has developed, and the one-page ad promotes the company’s new irons. All three ads feature Microsoft Tags in the lower left or right hand corner of the ad, and next to each Tag is descriptive copy informing readers how to download a free app in order to watch a video about the ball or irons, respectively.

For TaylorMade to apply Tags in this manner makes perfect sense, in that it instantly brings a reader (a potential customer) directly from the print ad to a video about the product, where the video can bring the image and copy of the ad to life.

While TaylorMade designs an engaging set of ads, from copy to graphical treatment, a couple of things strike me. First, why does the company use a minuscule type size for the descriptive copy next to each Tag? I found myself straining to read this copy and I could imagine others having to do so as well, especially if they are of the older demographic that may be subscribers to the magazine. Because the use of Tags and 2D barcodes is still so new, companies should not be sheepish about explaining what the code does and how consumers can scan/read it. Second, it is confusing to know what the real call-to-action is in each ad. In each ad, TaylorMade lists a specific website URL for the reader to go to as the place to learn more about their new products, and also offers the ability to scan the Tag, which brings readers someplace different. So which is it? I suppose the company is trying to appeal to both sets of readers, those that only view the web from a PC, and those that view the web via their mobile phone. From a best practice perspective, this makes sense, especially when 2D barcodes are still so new here in the U.S. market.

It will be interesting to see how other sports related companies make use of 2D barcodes.


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