The garment tag has been given a modern, interactive twist, thanks to New York-based fashion designer Rachel Roy. The designer has printed Microsoft Tags, Microsoft’s version of the QR code, on the tags attached to the pieces in her latest capsule collection for Macy’s.
Shoppers can use the Microsoft Tag Reader app (available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and J2ME phones) to scan the codes to pull up a short video (like this one), in which model Jessica Stam — who collaborated with Roy on the collection — discusses why she likes the piece and offers suggestions for styling it. A different video is attached to each item; there are four videos in all.
Roy, who cites video overlay and mobile commerce as the two trends in fashion and technology she is most excited about, says that she decided to use Microsoft Tag over other barcode products, like QR Codes andStickybits, because it offers more ease and flexibility than its peers. “You can print them onto anything, even fabric, which is very exciting,” she says. “I [also] like how, unlike other 2D codes that are associated with a permanent URL, Microsoft Tags can be updated and reused with different content. Plus, since the Microsoft Tag works on all major phone platforms, many people are able to read the tag and see the video content,” she adds.
The fashion industry has taken kindly to 2D barcodes as of late. W and several other Conde Nast fashion titles have incorporated Microsoft Tags into their editorial and advertising pages. Allure gave away $725,000 worth of beauty products via 39 embedded Microsoft Tags in its August issue, a campaign that netted 444,579 scans in sum. Most famously, Calvin Klein replaced three of its iconic billboards — two in downtown New York and one on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. — not with another racy montage of scantily clad models, but with a bright red QR code under the words “Get It Uncensored” this summer.
2D barcodes enable marketers to offer functionality beyond that of a typical display ad — whether that’s a print ad in a magazine, a banner ad on a website, or a billboard on a freeway — and to measure the reach of those ads more effectively.
How do you respond to 2D barcodes in advertising? Do you scan them or ignore them?