Monday, April 04, 2011

Last week in marketing

Suddenly QR codes - Quick Response - are everywhere providing a handy way of linking print, particularly display advertising to the Internet and generally to video footage. Writing in Marketing Week Lara O'Reilly points out that 'most people are unaware of how to use them in the first place" requiring a smart phone with Internet and an app to access the information locked up in the geometric patterns. QR codes are not new having originated in the manufacturing world in the mid 90s and don't add billable value to agencies, so their recent and rapid take up in advertising is interesting.

Despite the rise and rise of the Internet outdoor advertising remains steady and last week saw the Outdoor Hall of Fame recognising the top 10 posters from the past century. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the iconic Lord Kitchener recruitment poster from the First World War.

Travelling by train gives several interesting opportunities to note what is going on. The free Metro newspaper seems more popular on the morning train ride to London than the free Evening Standard on the return trip. In a distinctly un-scientific sample, more people in the evening were peering at Blackberries and iPhones - one guy had even fallen asleep clutching his Kindle. At least few people seem to conduct loud telephone conversations these days which is to be commended. I discovered that my battery had died so searched for a public phone to request collection from the station. It must be years since I used such a facility and back then we carried phone cards. I discovered that the minimum amount of cash to make a call now is 60p. In the post war days of being instructed to push either button A of button B, it was two old pence.

The pay phone experience pushed me to upgrade to an iPhone4 which thanks to the Apple philosophy is more intuitive than any phone I have had before and has the promise of being a useful productivity tool helpfully synchronising with my iMac.

Spent a lot of time chasing voucher copies of magazines to have proof our client's advertisements had actually been published. The administration of advertising campaigns gets more time consuming while agency margins decline.

And finally why were the whole accounts department of one company wearing high visibility jackets? Health and Safety apparently - their office is near a warehouse.

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