According to a new Nielsen Mobile report, 90% of cell phone users with data services think pushing ads to their device is unacceptable. (Of course, irritation with the process didn’t stop half of those who had seen an ad from responding).
Now, at least two companies are working on technology that enables cell phone users to easily pull digital content to their phones when they want it instead.
They’ve created a two-dimensional code (think UPS packages — and see the “Space Invaders” image at left) that, when photographed with a cell phone camera and processed with onboard software, pulls content to the user from pre-loaded databases. Essentially, it turns your cell phone into a barcode scanner, but better.
Any business using the technology can upload content to the system then create a unique 2D code to use on packaging, billboards, flyers, newspaper and magazine ads, display windows—anywhere it can be photographed with a phone camera.
For example, Mobile Discovery, a company associated with Case Western Reserve University and Scanbuy, partnered with cell service providers and Billboard magazine to use the 2D code in an ad for a new album. Readers photographing the code instantly received content such as sample songs without having to type in URLs or use search services.
The beta test project requires users to download the software to their phones, but Mobile Discovery envisions a day when the software comes bundled on all new cell phones.
Scanbuy says the marketing applications are virtually limitless, from using it on business cards to buying tickets or entering contests to accessing the latest bus schedule.
I can certainly picture it in viral campaigns – think 2D code stickers on light poles, bumper stickers, and fast food packaging.
Will it catch on as the latest marketing craze? What do you think, mobile marketers?