Occasionally late to the party, Marketing Brillo just learned about “snappable ads” this morning, in MediaWeek’s article. Here's what we now know.
Also called "web-enabled print" ads, these tiny touchables adhere to a page that readers can “click-on” to make something happen. That something might signal an advertiser to mail a coupon or send a free sample to the “snapper.” Magazines aren’t the only snappable possibilities. Also think direct mail, newspapers, apparel, brochures, in-store displays, packaging, etc.
To see how the technology works, watch this little slideshow from SpyderLynk, a top developer of snappables.
SpyderLynk’s CEO, Nicole Skogg, was interviewed on June 5 by the Denver Post. "SpyderLynk turns a brand’s printed logos into an image, or “SnapTag,” that people can take a [cell phone] picture of and send in a text message to a number listed in an ad. SpyderLynk sends back to their phones a brand’s promotional material offer, and starts a two-way interaction that a typical printed ad can’t."
Apparently, Skogg knew what she was talking about. Two weeks after the Denver Post article, A9 – a subsidiary of Amazon – acquired SnapTell, developer of SpyderLynk’s SnapTag™ technology.
I can see why magazine publishers and advertisers get excited. This is a really “cool” technology that -- given the chance -- most people can't resist "trying out." Apparently, it bombed when it first hit magazine racks about three years ago, though. For one thing, over-burdened magazine readers didn't know what to do so they fled. Also, street wisdom speculated that maybe the early effort didn’t give away enough value (read free stuff). This time around, consumers can expect better premiums and better directions.
"Mobile activation marketing" -- already well accepted in Asia -- is the end game for technologies like these. Multi-national LinkMe’s technology combines visual, voice, and audio recognition -- which means you can connect a print image to your mobile phone via voice and sound. All you have to do is say something like, “Nike Tennis shoes in November 3 issue of Women’s Day” and the image will appear on your mobile phone.
MediaWeek says current consumer response rates to snappables are about 2 percent. For now, those response rates won't pry marketing dollars from most tight-fisted advertisers. But that's okay.
In fantasizing how technology will meld the total “sensory” experience from every imaginable input device into exactly the display device we choose, “media” takes on a whole new meaning. In other words, we haven't seen that media yet.
For most marketers, laboring away in the direct mail/email/cross-media sweat box, little of this “amazing stuff” requires immediate action. Our essential challenges remains the same: a) To be fully aware of all options; and, b) to imagine how any or all of these explosive possibilities might be useful to our customers. In that sense -- as always -- marketers remain the link between technology and its customers.
-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo