Calvin Klein, QR Codes, and You

Last week Calvin Klein kicked off its 2010 Fall advertising campaign in NYC and LA. For one short week, Calvin Klein Jeans replaced three of its billboards—two in downtown New York and one on Sunset Boulevard in LA—with a bright red QR code under the words “Get It Uncensored.†View the billboards at: Mashable http://mashable.com/2010/07/13/calvin-klein-qr-code-billboard/ Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/5587753/nycs-sexiest-billboard-doesnt-care-for-dumphones Those with Smartphones—a limited market at present—could scan the QR code and view a 40-second Calvin Klein commercial. Obviously, the manufacturer is testing the waters with this new ad—especially since it was up for such a short time.  For me it was interesting to see how some of the newer technology—QR codes and augmented reality—are starting to be implemented on such a large scale. It also begs the question: will it take off? Is it the next step in outdoor advertising? One thing to consider: Although Smartphones are probably the most written about and most exciting category in the mobile phone market, according to a May 7th article in Fast Company, smartphones make up a very, very small percentage of the mobile market. According to Fast Company, the number one smartphone maker in the country, RIM—who makes the BlackBerry-- barely hits eight percent of the market. Granted, this market segment will continue to grow as more and more consumers trade-in their "dumbphones" and upgrade to smartphones, but when will that number be enough to change the way manufacturers and brands advertise their products and services? Do I think this is this the way to go to bridge the gap between print and interactive / social media? I'd have to say yes, I think this will be one of the ways. But again, it will be limited by the number of people actually able to use the technology. Have you seen a lot of interest from your customers for this kind of technology, this type of integration with the online world? What are they asking for? Do they specifically ask for QR codes or is it more vague? Are they coming to you with the idea or are you pushing/providing the idea to your customers? I'm curious to hear what you're doing in the market when it comes to QR codes and augmented reality. Email me (denise@wide-formatimaging.com) and let me know…

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