Allure Breaks Records With Microsoft 2D Tag Campaign

Microsoft Tag and Allure2D barcodes and their colorful cousins, Microsoft Tags, have been blossoming all over the pages of my favorite print media as of late, but I can't help but wondering: are they rooted in substance, or will they wither and fade away when the novelty wears off?

Recent stats from the latest Allure/Microsoft Tag campaign seem to speak to the substance and staying power of 2D barcodes and Microsoft Tags. Allure opted to augment their annual “Free Stuff” issue with Microsoft Tags. Readers could register for Allure’s month-long “Free Stuff” contest by scanning a Tag and then requesting that SMS alerts be sent when free products entered the giveaway queue. The tags presented a much more convenient means to enter the contest. Readers no longer had to get to a computer to enter each giveaway, they just had to scan a Tag in the magazine to be entered to win.

“Editorial supported the partnership in an organic way, there were over 35 pages of the August Allure that featured Tag, it was incorporated as editorial into design. There was also a master Tag of the contest calendar in the back of the magazine (and on Beauty sampling is fundamental to the beauty consumer and Allure’s August Free Stuff issue is the biggest beauty sampling opportunity around with more than 32,000 full size products reaching the hands of beauty consumers.” says Allure, Editor-in-chief, Linda Wells.

I remember flipping through the issue in years past, preparing a mental list of the giveaways I'd like to enter, imagining myself in possession of that special elixir that would end my complexion woes once and for all. I never won though, because I never remembered to get online and enter.

Apparently, I'm not the only one with this problem. Since solving the 'enter online' dilemma with Tags this year, Allure saw a 38% increase in total entries. This translated to 444,572 Tag scans, making this the largest 2D barcode campaign to date. Until now, JAGTAG was considered to hold the record with 100,000 scans during the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue earlier this year.

allurecoverAllure reported that 28% of the total entries were mobile entries, and mobile users entered the contest an average of 25 times, compared to 9.4 times for their PC counterparts.

”Overall, like any mobile web program originating from print, it exhibits success when there is a clear call-to-action, strong editorial support, and provides real value for the reader. Value in this case is recognized not only by the prizes being awarded, but also by the ease to enter from wherever there is a cell signal, and delivery of a reminder to do so.” says, John Fauller, Director, Print to Mobile Solutions for Condé Nast.

I agree with Fauller: a clear call-to-action and strong editorial content are the keys to success of any campaign, mobile or otherwise. This Allure campaign may be the first 2D barcode campaign to give equal weight and consideration to print content and mobile content. As the use of the 2D barcode becomes more prevalent, I believe we will see it absorbed into the native workflow of advertisers and when that happens we will begin to see even more ground-breaking results.

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