Advertising agency Clear Channel Outdoor / Quick NFC, affordable QR

An NFC sticker or a QR code on a billboard or the mall’s information display allows advertisers and service providers to place messages directly on their customers’ smart phones. According to Clear Channel's experience, youth and men in particular like to scan tags.

Earlier this year, advertising agency Clear Channel Outdoor launched its mobile advertising platform on billboards and shopping centers in Finland. Now, 300 tags are available; they are interactive NFC stickers and QR codes readable with a smart phone. The number will reach one thousand during 2014. By June, CCO aims to create a mobile network which it promises will monthly reach 175 million consumers in 23 countries.

– We encourage consumers to be more active mobile users by offering an easy access to the internet through the tag. In the beginning, the goal is to enhance our clients' brand communication and to offer them a position as trailblazers, says Marketing Designer Nelli Oinio from Clear Channel.

The initial experience of the campaign is positive. Travel Agency Apollo offered discount coupons through tags at the travel fair in January, and found hundreds of interested consumers. The Red Bull Ice Cross skating event suffered a loss of visitors last year while this year’s event attracted long lines of people aided by QR codes. Especially the younger crowd, ages 15–25, and technology-oriented men of ages 25–45 have embraced the use of tags.

User experience is the key

Hansaprint provides all the NFC stickers for Clear Channel billboards and is involved in campaign planning.

Hansaprint's Sales and Development Manager Taisto Junkkari underlines the importance of planning the user experience.

– To a mobile user, the tags should give access to an optimized site with content and a visual appearance that increase the desire to stay with the information offered. A mobile user seeks quick information and interaction at that very moment, so what they see should not be identical to the content shown to a website user.

Junkkari estimates that the popularity of tags as media will be enhanced by the even more common smart phones and increased mobile payments. 

– For the advertiser tag is a brilliant way to reach specific target groups. The customer is the one making the decision to scan the tag based on his or her interests.

– We needed to find an NFC tag which has optimized performance on small antenna. From the wide product range of SMARTRAC we picked up the Circus inlay with NTAG203 chip. Chips were programmed with unique URLs and memory of each tag was permanently locked.

What is this all about?

NFC tag: A chip with memory that sends data to the smart phone. Websites or other content can be stored in the memory. Can be personalized; especially suitable for personalized brochures. Readable with Windows and Android phones.

QR code: Two-dimensional matrix code that can access a website. Cannot be personalized; applicable to large editions without extra printing costs. The application is available for all popular smart phones.

Hansaprint offers smart QR- and NFC-integrated print products as well as expertises in designing them. The tags can be attached to for example a sticker, a poster, or a business card.

Read the article (in Finnish) from Hansaprint's customer magazine Hans .


Text:  Anneli Frantti

Picture:  Clear Channel