HarperCollins to Use 2-D Barcodes in New Mobile Marketing Program
HarperCollins Publishers has announced plans to launch a viral mobile initiative using 2-D barcodes, a new technology that links the print world to mobile. The codes, located on the back of book jackets and on marketing materials, will connect to a mobile site, with exclusive content about the authors and book.
To access the content, users download a free application (http://m.harpercollins.com) to their smart phone, take a picture of the 2-D barcode with the phone, and then the content appears on the phone.
The promotion kicked off June 16 in the United States, Canada and Australia, with the release of the teen novel "L.A. Candy," by Lauren Conrad. Users of the application can access video of Conrad, a Q&A with her, or share the new site with their friends via SMS (short message service). The site also can be accessed directly at http://lacandy.mobi.
HarperCollins will create a unique Web site, powered by mobile-marketing company QMCodes, for each book in the pilot program. The code for the paperback version of "Freakonomics," on sale Aug. 25, will connect readers to exclusive content related to the book and to the fall publication of "Superfreakonomics." Additionally, HarperTeen's "The Amanda Project," a collaborative, interactive series that consists of both printed books and online adventures, will incorporate the codes.
"We are excited about the potential of 2-D barcodes for the teen market. Teens use their mobile phones for everything from texting to updating their Facebook pages; this is one more way we can offer them content to share with their friends," says Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books. "HarperCollins is committed to reaching readers where they are, regardless of the device or platform, and a mobile marketing platform is a natural next step.
"It is early days for 2-D barcodes in the U.S., so there will be an education process. But, there's no doubt that mobile entertainment is growing by leaps and bounds, and book content should be part of that shift," adds Katz.