A few weeks ago my two- and a half-year old Motorola Razor’s screen turned white. After troubleshooting ended in failure, I was forced to make a trip to the Verizon store. As soon as I walked in the door, I was bombarded with questions: Was I looking for a phone with email capabilities? “No.” What about MP3 capabilities? “No,” I responded again. The salesperson’s dismay was obvious. “What about the ability to watch TV?” At this point I simply replied, “I just need to be able to call people.”
I consider myself a fairly technologically savvy person, thanks to colleagues Rex and Patrick R. who keep me up-to-date on the latest and greatest tools and products, but when it comes to my cell phone I just want the basics. What I realized after my shopping experience, however, is that these days wanting a cell phone that is just a phone puts me in the minority.
I’ve recently posted about how Rodale and Hearst publishers have taken advantage of the reality that most of us are literally physically attached to our phones. If you’re like me, if I forget my cell phone at home, my day feels off until I’m reunited with it. With this reality in mind, and in an effort to serve the needs of advertisers who are demanding deeper levels of engagement, calls to action, new ideas and measureable ROI, these publishers have rolled out the SnapTell and ShopText technologies to many of their titles. These code-enabled advertisements allow readers to buy items or receive promotions via text.
Today, magazine readers utilize their cell phone’s camera and texting features to take advantage of the promotions offered by these text-enabled ads, but that’s just the beginning. Based on the success of these campaigns to date, I predict there will be more to come—more publishers offering more technology and more advertisers buying in. If my cell-phone-buying experience is any indication, developers are already building the next advancement that will connect readers to the magazine print ad via cell phone, elevating the interactiveness of the magazine print ad and signaling the ad campaigns of the future.