More Traditional Media-SMS Integration

While traditional media ads have included URLs in ads for years, there's something that hasn't quite worked about it because of the lag between seeing or hearing the ad (out and about) and the consumer's ability to get to a PC with Internet access. But mobile phones change that. A consumer can see an ad and take immediate action regardless of where she is.

Increasingly we see integration of SMS codes into newspaper and magazine ads, TV (in a few cases), outdoor and digital out of home. There's also the experimental integration of QR or 2D barcodes in traditional media ads.

These mobile integrations make the traditional media ad dynamic and immediately actionable. They also make them more measurable. Along those lines I was walking down the street in San Francisco and saw the following ad at a bus stop:

SMS bus stop ad

Text outdoor

I also saw the movie "The Hangover" the other night and saw a poster at the theater for another movie that only featured a 2D barcode in the center of the ad and no title. It had a prompt to text to a short code to get information about the movie (and probably add yourself to the list to receive information).

I would imagine that within a year the SMS option in the ad above will be a common feature of any ad that offers a call to action. 

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Related: Retailer Lane Bryant (in partnership with SmartReply) uses direct mail and email to get users (with a coupon/discount incentive) to opt-in to receive promotional SMS alerts and notifications.