Bicycle Adventures, a company that offers bicycle vacation and excursion packages, launched a new print campaign in New York magazine, which features a Microsoft Tag.
While I have thoughts on the advertisement as a whole, let me focus on how the company chooses to use 2D technology. To begin, the Tag is placed in a prominent position (lower right hand corner of a right hand page), but the copy that accompanies the Tag does little to help a reader who is not familiar with Microsoft Tags, let alone 2D barcodes in general, know what to do with the Tag or what to expect. All the copy says is, “Get the free mobile app at http://gettag.mobi.” Okay, so the reader gets the free app, but then what? And why doesn’t the company name the mobile app, as opposed to sounding so generic. The name of the app is Microsoft Tag Reader. Does the company not want to draw attention to a Microsoft related product?
Once the Tag is scanned, the reader is brought to the company’s main website. Why not a mobile website? If the customer’s experience is going to reside in a mobile environment, why not lead the customer to a mobile website? Also, with a scan resolve like this, why bother with a 2D barcode at all? Why not just list the company’s URL address? In cases like this, it seems as though a 2D barcode was either a total after thought, or someone in the company/agency thought it would be cool to have a 2D barcode in the advertisement. In reality, there is no 2D barcode strategy here, let alone an overall strategy for the advertisement.
My guess is that Bicycle Adventures is a small-to-mid-sized company, one that can ill afford to throw marketing and promotion dollars away, but yet, they seem to do so freely with this advertisement. I am most certain this advertisement will not reap the returns the company’s owner or president had been lead to expect.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL