The British news organization, News International, that’s owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., is exploring opportunities for adding QR (barcode-like) codes (see left) to its newspaper articles, perhaps within 18 months to 24 months, according to Marketing Week.
The organization wants to capture more younger readers, and the immediate use will be for incorporation into advertisements.
The QR code includes, for example, a URL. The code is photographed with a camera phone and transmitted to a server that returns information to the phone.
The Sun pull-out section
This could include additional details about products, discount coupons, times for movies, ticket prices, etc. In December 2007, The Sun included an eight-page pull-out section that included QR codes in advertisements from such companies as the betting firm Ladbrokes, Fox, Ford and British Airways.
“Ladbrokes, for example, used the code to give mobile users access to its Free Bet promotion,” the article says. MocoNews.net discussed the December effort.
The Sun will include another pull-out section next month, Marketing Week reports.
International adoption levels
QR codes are a very big deal in Japan, where they are rather commonplace. They also are generating some interest in Europe.
In the United States, though, the use of QR codes or any similar barcode-type graphics that are photographed by camera phones, are virtually non-existent. Several companies, such as Scanbuy and NeoMedia Technologies, have been actively promoting these efforts in the U.S., but it’s still very early days in the adoption cycles.
There’s some good news, technologically, for camera phones’ ability to capture images that can be read by software. The resolution of cellular phone cameras is increasing. Even more importantly, phones are increasingly offering close-up capabilities that are necessary to capture a readable image.