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The value of 2D barcodes by print magazines looking to connect with reader’s mobile phone activity is getting a big test of with Glamour’s l…

Glamour September Snap-Tag Cover

The value of 2D barcodes by print magazines looking to connect with reader’s mobile phone activity is getting a big test of with Glamour‘s large September fall fashion issue. The Condé Nast magazine worked with Facebook to add “SnapTags” to its cover and inside advertising pages that will encourage readers to “Like” it on Facebook.

There are about 25 ad pages within the September issue, which hits newsstands today, that are SnapTagged with Spyderlynk’s 2D mobile barcode technology, including Lancome, Smashbox and HTC. For Glamour, the goal of the campaign is twofold: First, it wants its Facebook fan page to drive more readership on the site and in print. At the same time, it wants to be able to prove to advertisers it can create connections among their print ads, Facebook presence and mobile ads

To connect the magazine to Facebook, readers will have to download the Friends & Fans app on either Apple’s iTunes Store or Google’s Android Marketplace. Once they’ve got the app, readers just have to hover their phone over any SnapTag and they’ll either be taken to Glamour’s Facebook page, or one of its advertisers’ pages for special content, deals and giveaways.

Glamour’s use of SnapTags and Facebook is meant to tie the relevance of what is typically the biggest month of the year for fashion magazines, as marketers and readers gear up for the fall fashion season.

As part of the campaign, the cover model for the September issue is Rihanna, who happens to have over 40 million Facebook fans. Glamour’s other celebrity “Facebook friends” include Kim Kardashian, Andy Cohen and Kate Bosworth, all of whom will be hosting live “fireside” chats throughout the month.

The social media/mobile promotion is intended to build on Glamour’s existing Facebook programs that have run the past several months. In May, for example, Glamour offered sneak previews of actress Blake Lively’s photo shoot on Facebook. That same month, the magazine launched its “daily deals” initiative with exclusive offers for its Facebook fans. Those kinds of special features are continuing this month, with a Facebook-only Rihanna video, that has her answering previous reader questions.

For now, there are no plans to extend the use of SnapTags into the October issue. But Glamour is exploring different ways of keeping the Friends & Fans app alive for some future program.

It’s safe to say that most Glamour who would buy the September issue probably have a smartphone or will have one within the next year. Given the concentration of publishers on creating digital editions of its magazines, the phone represents even greater opportunity for advertisers, since the phone sits perfectly in the middle of the digital/print divide, especially when it comes to offering something a little extra for advertisers.

Most major publishers have been looking at the use of these kinds of tags for some time. Mobile barcodes have been pretty successful in Japan, but have been slow to catch on in the U.S. As smartphone penetration increases, the use of tags will certainly become more prevalent-and may become essential to print and digital magazines they’re being used to complement.

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  1. Great article. The SnapTag innovation is indeed one-step ahead from QR codes. 

    I’d like to point out though, users don’t have to download the Friends & Fans app to read the SnapTag. If I’m not mistaken, they can also use their camera phones to take a picture of the SnapTag and text it to a number. In this case of the Glamour issue, I think the number is 77865. The number’s a tad too small on the cover in the image. 

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