Microsoft Tag rated the best tasting barcode
While we often see bar codes on food products, we don’t generally eat them. However, this writer was a little hungry and had been stashing (I mean protecting) a chocolate with a barcode on it for some time. To be precise, I’ve been saving it since the January NRF show and the party at the Hard Rock Café, where attractive young Microsoft Marketing personnel were handing out free chocolates with their Tag type bar code emblazoned on them.
I have to say right here, that the chocolate was not really to my liking. I took one small bite, then another, and then put it back in the plastic container. My ten year old son has been pestering me about that piece of candy for some months now, ever since he discovered it on a shelf in my office – I will let him have the rest. To be fair, a chocolate like this is not likely to age well. Perhaps I should have consumed it right away. But it was nice to look at and a small memento of my trip to NY. Is there a lesson here? Perhaps one should not delay gratification where bar codes are concerned? Or where chocolates are concerned!
And, to those of you who are going to criticize me for passing mediocre candy on to my kid… well, let me just say that letting kids try things for themselves is infinitely more educational than simply telling them. Additionally, if he tries it and doesn’t like it, then the next time I get chocolates with bar codes, I probably won’t have to share them.
Now – about the bar code itself. It scanned reasonably well after I downloaded the Microsoft Tag app onto my HTC Android phone. I did not go to http:// gettag.mobi, as the label on the bottom of the chocolate had suggested, rather, I chose to see if the app was available in the Android Market, and in fact, it was.
Scanning the chocolate (it scanned without any difficulty) brought me to a YouTube video - I’d provide you the code, but it’s a little too onerous to type. I looked briefly on Youtube.com to see if I could find it, but there are over fifty different videos when one searches on Microsoft Tag. Moreover, I would not want to interfere with Microsoft Tag’s data gathering ability. I imagine that Microsoft is trying to measure the success of this chocolate barcode campaign by the number of times that specific video was viewed. I mean, that’s what good marketing is all about – measurement!!
The Microsoft Tag app: When one loads the app onto the phone, and first uses it, the application asks multiple permissions – can we track your location? Can we track what phone type you are using, etc etc. Like any aggressive marketing company, Microsoft’s mainframe undoubtedly already knows that I scanned the chocolate at 8am this morning, it knows my geophysical location, probably cross-referenced that to a database of mailing addresses, made some guesses as to my income level, education and political preferences, based on the value and location of the property, and presumably is waiting for me to publish this article, evaluate it and then decide whether to put me on the Microsoft friends or enemies list. If Microsoft’s mainframe talks to Google’s mainframe (you know, the one with the wireless data they ‘accidentally’ collected accidentally over the last few years, accidentally ) well, then they know my IP address and with a couple of queries to the Google search history database, they even know how likely I am to buy chocolate over the Internet. (Hint: not very likely. I’d probably go to the Godiva store at the International Mall in Tampa).
Now, since I scanned the chocolate, and their computers counted how many scans there were on that presumably special chocolate bar code – which should have been specifically created just for the NRF party crowd, they know just how successful that marketing technique was. In fact, dear reader – Microsoft is presumably using its own technology to decide whether to give away chocolates NEXT year at NRF. So, in order to convince them that it’s a good idea, I encourage all of you to scan the image of the chocolate above. If thousands of scans come in (and the short video gets thousands of views), some marketing executive at Microsoft will undoubtedly think it was a very successful campaign, and insist on repeating it at NRF 2012. Which is exactly what I am hoping for… except next year, Ms. Microsoft Marketing Person, I suggest you order Godiva chocolates with bar codes. In fact, please send me a box, and I will test them for you… maybe even sharing one with my son and, perhaps even The Bar Code News staff, whom, I suspect, will have a renewed interest in attending trade shows in the future.
Written by Craig Aberle
Microsoft Tag: Beautiful Connections... Even in its basic form, the Microsoft Tag is a much prettier 2D bar code, but it still is something that is not very intriguing and does not tempt the average person to go out of their way to discover ...
Tag of the Week: Blue Moon... as you'd think. In honor of this occurrence, I've created the Tag of the Week and named it "Once in a Blue Moon." Use the Tag Reader app http://gettag.mobi to read 2D Logo Tags by daCosta, Microsoft
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