Mobile Phone Replaces Cue Cat in Magazine Interactive Feature


Well, it's better than Cue Cat. Rolling Stone and Men's Health are testing a program whereby readers take pictured of ads and txt them to a number which returns offer information from the advertiser. Technology from SnapTell enables image recognition so snapped images are matched with the correct offers.

Not a bad idea. After all, it's definitely easier to simply take a picture than text a URL for more info. Nice way to track ad viewership as well.

Cue Cat attempted this years ago with a clumsy device that would plug into one computer and be used to scan a bar code in the ad. A web page with product information was returned. With near everyone owning a cell phone these days, there's no need for a separate device such as the Cue Cat.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Good, Magazine, Mobile/Wireless, Opinion   

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This has been done in Europe for quite a while now. Amazing how far behind the U.S. is in mobile marketing.

Posted by: Lisa on April 28, 2008 1:49 PM

I'm not sure that the US is behind as much as US consumers are a bit more savvy and don't like to have to pay (through standard txt msg rates) to open another line of spam-like communication from a brand.

Because it is a brand, and brands are not people's friends.

Posted by: daily biz on April 28, 2008 1:58 PM

Why would consumers want to snap a picture in order to get marketing material from a brand? That not only gives up the consumer's control, it also reveals contact data to the brand.

If I see an ad for Axe and I want to get Axe info, I am pretty sure how to get it. I can hop on the Web and do my own surfing for more info rather than giving up control to marketers.

I don't understand this at all. I think this is one of those ideas marketers will love but consumers will reject.

Posted by: Augie on April 28, 2008 2:28 PM

Of course if consumers are not interested in the ad or receiving material they won't go to the effort to take a picture and text it through just to receive information. The idea of the mechanic is to have a strong, attractive offer for the target audience to redeem at POS or receive in the mail, such as a 20% off voucher. If the offer is attractive to them they will engage in the communication. The print ad will lead them to water, the mobile component will help them drink.

Posted by: Luke on April 29, 2008 12:01 AM

Cue Cat is an apt reference on this bit of idiocy. For years the Japanese have had ads with barcodes that cell phones can use as a link to special offers. They just take a picture of an ad, even billboards, the phone recognizes the bar code and the browser goes to a website, coupon, whatever.

I think that technology was mentioned here before, I think. In any case, once the providers get the stick out of their collective asses we may see some improvement on this front.

But so help me God if I have to pay for text ads I'll shove that stick right back where it came from. And I'm not bringing lube.

Posted by: pat smith on April 30, 2008 1:37 AM