With the continued development of mobile technologies incorporating high resolution and high definition cameras into more and more smartphones, the challenge for social media agencies and marketing folks alike is to continue to discover and develop creative ways of utilising these capabilities as part of their integrated online PR and marketing campaigns.
One idea that caught my eye in particular recently is in relation to the concept of customised SnapTags (QR codes). I stumbled across the idea earlier this month when I read an article about the ways in which the Blu-ray and DVD release of the new Inception film is being marketed through the use of both traditional PR and social media. Simply put, SnapTags are specially designed 2D icons carrying information that can be unlocked when a user snaps a picture of the icon on their smartphone. These icons can be printed on Blu-ray covers, in magazines, on billboards, at Point-of-Sale, on Facebook Pages, on TV commercials - in fact, pretty much anywhere. When people take a picture of the icon with their smartphone, the smartphone reads the embedded code, and then sends an email or SMS to the user with exclusive content or download information.
The way Warner Bros. are using this technology with Inception is that they have scattered different Inception SnapTags in different places and across different marketing platforms. As users capture each different tag with their smartphone, they unlock different levels – with each level revealing more exclusive and hidden content from the film, allowing viewers to get more of an insight into the story and characters. Additionally, the new content you get from snapping the icon from a Blu-ray disk will be different to the new content you get from snapping the icon from a magazine ad or tweeted out as a twitpic – so in essence, from a consumers standpoint, the more you look the more exclusive content you will uncover.
This certainly opens up a whole new area of opportunity for brands and PR agencies to take advantage of - especially when considering the potential that running a customised SnapTag campaign would have if integrated effectively across multiple social media networks. It would seem that SnapTags would act as the perfect tool to increase engagement and interaction across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, simply because the tags themselves can be located on different areas of these platforms - for example, in a twitpic, on a Facebook wall, or in a short viral YouTube clip – all of which would ultimately result in increased online activity and visibility.