Glamour's September issue will try to make 2-D bar codes friendlier by including icons that readers can photograph to "like" advertisers on Facebook and recieve special offers in turn.
Magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Golf Digest and Woman's Day have been exploring 2-D bar codes, quick-response tags and similar systems that aim to make print more interactive by letting camera phones fetch or share content, enter sweepstakes and receive special offers. Readers used the codes in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue over 100,000 times in 2010 and over 120,000 times in 2011. Most executions, however, don't generate so much response.
But Facebook isn't usually the primary lure either. Prominently incorporating Facebook will make the technology more appealing to consumers, according to Nicole Skogg, CEO at SpyderLynk, which is supplying the new Social SnapTag codes that Glamour will use. "We all use Facebook and trust Facebook," Ms. Skogg said.
That will help participating advertisers meet a persistent goal, according to Bill Wackermann, exec VP and publishing director at Conde Nast, which publishes Glamour. "On every sales call I go on, I hear 'How do I build my social media,' 'How can we increase the number of likes and fans we have,'" Mr. Wackermann said. "It is a top objective for most advertisers we do business with."
Brands need to capitalize on social networks because friends provide a fast route to new prospective customers, Mr. Wackermann said. "The most compelling part of this is helping our advertisers build their social footprint," he said. "The reason we do that is because all statistics tell you is that like attracts like. If you've got someone who likes Armani, most likely their friends would too."
Glamour will also use Social SnapTags on editorial pages in its September "Friends Issue," which will let readers like articles on Facebook.
SpyderLynk is building a Glamour Friends with Benefits version of its SnapTag reader app for the September issue, but a smartphone isn't necessary to act on SnapTags. Any camera phone can send a photo of a SnapTag to trigger the associated action. Glamour's September iPad edition will let readers tap the screen to like an advertiser on Facebook.