Mobile Bar Codes Drive Consumers to City Info Online

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Brand: Wonda
Brand owner: Asahi
Category: Drink (nonalcoholic)
Date: January to February 2005
Country: Japan
Media Agency: Kossmo Media
Other Agencies: Emlite
Media owner: MC Decaux

The success of NTTDoCoMo’s mobile Internet platform I-mode is well-known, as is the ability of mobile phones to provide a response mechanism for outdoor advertisers, turning paper and paste into a gateway to new media.

This campaign brings the two together by using the two-dimensional bar code readers now fitted to most Japanese mobile phones to connect consumers to a special Web site.

I-mode sites are very popular and accessed by more than 40 million people every day -- one third of all Japanese. Advertisers have used the medium successfully as a means of turning static ads into an entry point to useful and engaging content.

However, until now such efforts have focused on linking from magazines or online. Wonda, a canned coffee drink produced by Asahi, is one of the first generation of advertisers to use this functionality with an outdoor campaign.

Last January and February, it ran a campaign on 18 panels in Yokohama City featuring an I-mode two-dimensional bar code. The aim was to sustain brand awareness.

Anyone who scanned the bar code could access bus timetables as well as the Wonda Web site, which had information and pictures of places of interest in the city as well as facts about the product. The site was only available during the campaign.

The activity in Yokohama was part of a wider campaign using TV and transit. Advertising should either be useful or entertaining, and this media case is both.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared’s Creative Media Database. www.csquared.cc

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