Mobile Bar code Technology in Television Commercials

image

A screenshot One of Bluefly’s “Closet Confessions” commercials, featuring Bethenny Frankel of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” with scannable information about things for sale on Bluefly. Image courtesy of the New York Times.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
September 30, 2010 - MMH Editorial

First, this is a workplace appropriate blog with nothing remotely to do with the sexual orientation of bar codes.

I don’t know about you, but I get a kick when my professional life intersects with my personal life. I work at home and check out CNBC and cable news during lunch. Today, as I was rummaging through the fridge for something to eat, on comes a UPS commercial with someone singing about the joys of logistics to the tune of That’s Amore. My wife will tell you that I could’ve written those lyrics.

Fast forward a couple of hours, and I just clicked on the New York Times after editing a story on multi-modal data collection by Sara Specter that will appear in our October issue. A headline caught my eye: Bar Codes Add Detail on Items in TV Ads”>Bar Codes Add Detail on Items in TV Ads. The technology is supplied by Scanbuy.

I’ll bite. According to Elizabeth Olson, the reporter, bar codes are popping up on the Bravo cable station in television ads created by online retailer Bluefly. The 45-second ads show “snippets” of interviews with fashion designers and fashionable celebrities.

If you happen to point a cell phone equipped with a scanner at the on-screen bar code, you’ll be linked to specially-created “Closet Confessions,” five-minute long episodes that feature interviews with fashion designers and celebrities who take the viewer on a tour of their closets. You’ll also be offered a $30 discount on a $150 purchase at bluefly.com.

The Times says the bar codes use a traditional “quick response” bar code to connect a viewer to a website or video from the advertiser.

As far as I know, I don’t have a bar code reader on my BlackBerry. If I did, I’m not sure if I want to start scanning my television to check out Nicky Hilton’s closet. Some doors should just be left closed. But, a Bluefly executive tells the Times that “Closet Confession” fans have increased the size of their shopping orders by 50% since the bar codes started running.

As a supply chain guy, I have just one word of warning to Bluefly: We all know that bar codes are pretty reliable, but they occasionally misread. I hate to think of what might show up on my phone with the wrong scan.

From more information on Bar Code systems, check-out Modern’s Critical Topics page on Mobility: Mobile and Wireless Systems



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

FTR says both spot rates and contract rates are heading up in a full capacity environment and with the fall shipping season rapidly approaching, it explained conditions for shippers could further deteriorate.

Read how others are using Business Process Management to achieve ERP success with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Download the free white paper now.

Now that Congress has issued another highway funding Band-Aid – a $10.9 billion highway bill through next May that former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blasted as “totally inadequate” – what can we expect as the infamously do-nothing 113th Congress winds down in the next month before taking yet another recess to prep for the mid-term elections?

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.

Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. Contact Bob Trebilcock.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.