Monday, April 26, 2010

Droid Does QR Codes in People Magazine

Verizon is running Motorola Droid ads in People Magazine using QR codes. The codes link Android users directly to the marketplace page for the apps, Qik and Slacker Radio. Users who scan the codes that aren't on an Android device get kicked to a mobile page with links to popular Android apps and a Verizon store finder. Below are pictures from the May 3rd issue including a screen shot of the non-Android landing page that I was directed to from an Iphone. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iron Man 2 Starring QR codes

Check out the movie ad for Iron Man 2. Designed by Santa Monica based Warbasse Designs, who is in charge of the mobile strategy for Iron Man 2. The code links to a Mobile page featuring a synopsis, trailer, showtimes and photos. Click here for the official press release.

Norma Kamali Using Mobile EZ Codes To Enhance Shopping (Photos)

Norma Kamali is a New York fashion designer, famous for a variety of innovative designs over the past 30 years including the "sleeping bag" coat, a collection of style created from actual silk parachutes. 

Her store, located at 11 West 56th in New York City, has been the topic of conversation lately about something other than fashion, and was the real reason for my visit. Check out the segment on The Early Show about QR codes where they are featured #

The boutique is loaded with 2-barcodes. (EZcode by Scanlife) Shoppers can scan the EZcode with a Scanlife app and be directed to action, either to buy, or enter and win. When I scanned the codes I was directed to an Ebay mobile page for the item where I could buy it.

What struck me is how UN-noticeable the EZ code is, as opposed to real QR codes. EZ codes look more like a design than an actual source of mobile information. You decide. One thing is for certain, Norma Kamali can be credited as the FIRST retailer to implement 2-D code signage throughout a store in the United States. I like it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Unique QR Codes, Made of QR Code Readers!

Partick Donnelly of has created a masterpiece. Using a collection of QR code reader app icons, he formed a QR code. Well done! QRarts specializes in the "designer QR codes". The site is filled with fun, unique QR code ideas! Also, check out their "QR reader rankings"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Anatomy Of Web Conent (Sunday Scribble)

Web content is like blood. Your brand's BLOOD. Flowing in rhythm through an organization. Like the human body, brands depend on content as if it were blood. Cut off blood to particular area of a company and it will loose those departments or products. Without healthy web content your brand will wither and die.

How can I get dynamic web content flowing from every body of my organization? How do we publish our "authentic expertise" to the web?

Like blood, CONTENT comes from the heart. My belief is that only people from within can truly contribute valuable content because they are the true "experts". This means that you don't need a fancy, overpriced agency. It's already in your HEART, it's authentic. Agencies can add polish to your content but shouldnt be relied on to create it. They can't be the experts that the brands are. How can an agency answer real buying questions pertaining to your niche? They can't.

Content can be anything in the realm of documented "expertise" or data/images relating to your industry and products. Think about the areas and departments within your organization, each one with a story to tell. This information should be published in several forms including blog text, videos, podcasts (audio), images and website material so it can be found by buyers. No matter which medium you choose to focus on (preferably all), make sure that you are continually updating and adding. This isn't rocket science, it's your market. The market that you are an EXPERT in. Remember?

The importance to publishing your expert content to the web. Search rules, no doubt about it. This will get you found! When the questions is asked in a search, you've got the best answer. Consistently publishing content about your industry and products will keep you relevant in the conversation, and with Google. Answer questions! To WIN in the store you must win the conversation. That's cheesy

Popular places to publish content - Blogger, Wordpress, YouTube, Flickr, Website, Social.

Popular ways to lead people to this content - Facebook, Twitter, Search, Search, Search

Social media for brands = "Conversation Content" (I just coined that!) This just means that the public is allowed to openly discuss and interact with your content in the form of comments, update follows, questions. That's the definition of social media.

Brands have been afraid to open up this is the type of transparency. Why?

What makes Amazon a winner?

User-generated content. This is where it's at on the web today. Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all carry enormous amounts of user-generated content. Also, Sites like Amazon use consumer ratings and comments to spur sales. This is a great example of an online brand (Amazon) harnessing user-generated content to sell their products. Other social networks are allowing users to connect by sharing content (video,blog,podcast,tweeting) related to a specific category. We live in a network of networks, niches galore. The popularity of this content lies in how authentic it is. 

Employee-generated content.  We should take note from the success of "user generated" content to influence buying. If employees can freely publish ideas, insights and opinions that are authentic, why shouldn't they be doing it? It's already proven that people like to express themselves with content. While others, complete strangers, enjoy consuming it. With this in mind let's think about a company. Our consumer now craves this "user generated" authentic content from brands as well.

Everybody is an expert at something. Let employees contribute content on to the web in their areas of expertise.

Why do people believe ratings over advertising? The same reason you will succeed with "Conersational Content" i.e. Social Media.

I'm out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Colorful QR Codes Are Fresh

There are lots of ways to give some color to QR codes without losing data storage! As long as the code contrast can still be detected by the reader, you can customize the color combination all day. These are lookin funky FRESH. I will be posting more to get some feedback. Although I like to focus my efforts "beyond the code," color QR codes can add some freshness to your mobile QR code campaign.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Luxury Brand Wins With QR Codes

Hearts On Fire, The World's Most Perfectly Cut Diamond, is carried in 34 countries, including over 500 US retail locations. Widely considered to be the leaders in the diamond engagement ring category, they continually look for new ways to connect with buyers. As a market leader in the 21st century, it is important to adapt your brand to changes that occur through technology, exposing the new efficiencies they bring. It almost seems as if Hearts On Fire has done this before.

Print advertising has seen better days, no doubt about it. The internet era has brought forth several "game changers" to advertising. Most notably, Google. For consumers today, there are unlimited ways to get information to make a buying decision, this has diluted the effectiveness of print advertising somewhat. Converging the mobile web with a traditional powerhouse such as print gives it entirely new fire power. Print can now be "clicked" by a smartphone user to continue the conversation beyond the ad. Not only that, the user is giving permission to dive deeper into content. They are "tapping in" per se. People do like advertising, just on their own terms. A new model for success?

Bridging The Gap
Hearts On Fire has connected mobile web content to magazine ads using QR codes as the link. Short for "quick response", these codes contain URL's that when scanned, direct users to a Hearts On Fire mobile landing page. Without having to type in a URL, QR codes are the fastest link from print to the web.

The Boston-based diamond company teamed up with a Michigan mobile tech company, Tappinn, to execute the campaign. Tappinn is a web platform to build, track and manage mobile websites and QR codes.

Smartphones have become an increasingly popular portal to the internet and brand content needs to be formatted accordingly. Tappinn has made it incredibly easy to build custom mobile web pages to deploy them with QR codes.

"We know our customers (especially our bridal customers) prefer to access information from their phone. This technology allows us to give them what they need and direct them to their closest Hearts On Fire retailer in the most efficient way possible. Plus, it is fun to use" says Caryl Capeci, VP of Marketing for Hearts On Fire.

The Hearts On Fire mobile landing page includes links to engagement ring galleries, social fan pages, retailer finder, product pages and easy sharing function on Facebook and Twitter.

"Readers see ads in magazines that they like but haven't had the means connect with them in real time. That has been what's missing from print, the "click-ability". TODAY is all about the connection and the mobile device has changed the way we make those connections. QR codes teamed with targeted mobile web content is the most efficient way to bridge the communication gap between readers of a magazine and an ad" says Nicholas Ford, Co-Founder of Tappinn.

"It's just the easiest way to let readers efficiently browse more information pertaining to your ad from their phone, it's not magic. Just imagine now having the ability to "like" "friend" and "share" Hearts On Fire styles that you see in the pages of a magazine from your phone. QR codes add the missing link to print advertising, literally." 

Check out the Hearts On Fire advertisement in Elle magazine which will reach newsstands on April 21st.

Download a QR code reader 

There are lot's of QR codes reader apps out there, too many to keep track of. Here are a few good ones that we recommend. Unfortunately, if you don't fit into these categories you're probably going to have a hard time. Iphone and Android and the leaders by far in ease of usability. Just hover your camera over the code and it picks it up instantly!(in the past you would have to actually snap a picture with the app)

Iphone apps: MobileTag, Neo Reader,

Android apps: ZXing, MobileTag

Blackberry apps: BeeTag, (BBM 5.0 has QR reader built in, although it's slow)

Windows Mobile: Quickmark

Below are some bonus images to help get users in the swing of scanning. Courtesy of Hearts On Fire. Click on the images to blow up. Have Fun!

HTC "Droid" Incredible - Official Release On Verizon April 29th

4G (Android) HTC Evo From Sprint Looks SICK

The video speaks for itself.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Ways To Win With QR Codes In 2010

Brand advertisers are starting to fall in love with smartphones, no doubt. The mobile device offers a completely new gateway to reach consumers. Currently the word "app" dominates the mobile marketing conversation. Surprisingly, opportunities lie where they were never before imagined. Connected consumers can access information anywhere. Brands can communicate in totally of new ways. It's all happening so fast! Where do we go?

QR codes add the missing link to print advertising, literally. Short for "quick response", they are a link from the physical world to the digital one. They store URL's and when scanned by a smartphone, direct the phone's browser to the link embedded within. Traditional medias can be blended with QR codes to add an entirely new "digital" dimension to them. This gives users a quick way to interact via the mobile web without having to type a URL. The convenience of these codes have yet to reveal themselves to the masses. We still have some work to do. Here are my winning tips for QR code success in 2010.

5 Ways To Win Using QR Codes In Print Advertising

(1) Awesome Content. This is most important. QR codes and mobile web pages should be simple and direct. Let users connect with unique information corresponding with the ad that they can share. (product gallery, specs, videos, news and promotions ect..)

(2) Stay Consistent! The only way you can win with QR codes is to be consistent with your use of them. General awareness and accessibility is still low. Using QR codes whenever possible will only intrigue consumers who are unable to connect. Even if the users aren't there to begin, don't get discouraged. Every day a new smartphone user is born.

(3) Be Social. QR codes and mobile pages should have quick links to social network fan pages. Magazine ads can now aim to accumulate followers on Facebook. Also, the ability for users to easily share on those networks will maximize your ad's viral potential. 

(4) Retail support. Give users the ability to "find a retailer" from a QR code. This is a phenomenal way to bridge the exploration gap between print and store. Also, custom campaigns with exclusives for particular retailers is way to get everybody involved. 

(5) Give Stuff Away. People love freebies and are willing to give up information to win. This has always been a popular way to get people to act on your brand. The same holds true for mobile marketing, the viral component is huge.

It's only a matter of time before the desktop is dead and the mobile device is king. Carriers such as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon are embracing the mobile web! Smartphone commercials are dominating TV right now. The need to be connected at all times is climbing. In the next year we will see a parade of smartphones hitting the market. Combine this with the 4G speed that networks are touting and you have you a tipping point. Good luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hearts On Fire Connects With Bridal Shoppers Using QR Codes

{Press Release} BOSTON, MA -April 12, 2010

Hearts On Fire goes mobile in upcoming national print advertisements. The Company has partnered with Michigan -based mobile technology company, Tappinn, to create an innovative, new way to advertise in the print medium. A selection of Hearts On Fire print ads will feature engagement rings from their bridal line along with a mobile QR (quick response) barcode. Consumers will have the opportunity to reach a Hearts On Fire mobile site where they can view designs, share with friends, and engage in social media. The goal is to make it easy for consumers to learn more about Hearts on Fire products and create an experience that blends print with technology.

"We know our customers (especially our bridal customers) prefer to access information from their phone. This technology allows us to give them what they need and direct them to their closest Hearts On Fire retailer in the most efficient way possible. Plus, it is fun to use" says Caryl Capeci, VP of Marketing for Hearts In Fire.

"Smartphone users are connected at all times and can be the most viral for a brand. Web enabled smartphones have added an entirely new dimension to social media and Hearts On Fire has been early to recognize that" says Nicholas Ford, co-founder of  Tappinn. ( 

About Hearts On Fire 

The Hearts On Fire Company (HOF) is successfully building the pre-eminent consumer brand in the fine diamond jewelry business, powered by the pulsating energy of its extraordinary diamonds. Founded in 1996, Hearts On Fire has established a new industry standard for diamond cutting perfection, enabling the Company to become the world's fastest growing diamond brand. The company continues to redefine the industry through its extraordinary diamonds, sophisticated marketing and training programs and unique retail relationships. Hearts On Fire, The World's Most Perfectly Cut Diamond, is carried in 34 countries, including over 500 U.S. retail locations, as well as locations throughout the U.K, Aisa, and the Caribbean. For more information please visit

Contact info:
Trisha Spillane- 617-912-5370

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tappinn - Opportunities for Designers and Entrepreneurs

Mobile web design and management can be EASY. Publishing sites.....EASY. QR code generation and deployment ....EASY.

How? One word....Tappinn

Anybody who sees themselves as WEB SAVVY and CREATIVE can be a ROCK STAR on Tappinn.

It has become increasingly easier to start a business and build a personal brand. Age requirements have become obsolete. The digital age has brought forth a new species on entrepreneur who blends hustle and talent with design. These digital entrepreneurs often carry an array of web skills and a clear grasp of social networks. These skills are priceless to the right company.

Tappinn had invited these "digital dreamers" to participate in a "mobile movement"

The Tappinn platform lends itself to agencies and entrepreneurs who can add value to their clients by building dynamic, "touch" friendly mobile pages that can be deployed and tracked using QR codes.

Become a QR code expert. Manage and track mobile campaigns for multiple clients. The more they use them, the more $ you make.

Businesses will soon realize that their web content NEEDS to go mobile. There will be a missive shift in the way this content is designed and distributed. This IS the opportunity. Circa 1994 lol

If this sounds interesting and you would like to learn more please call me at 269-217-8650