Movie Promo Uses Outdoor + Barcodes

One of the things that we've pointed out many times here is that traditional media gain "new life" with the incorporation of mobile (SMS, barcodes). A great case-in-point comes in the form of a promotion for the new horror/sci-fi movie Repo Men (not a remake of the 80s cult classic). The movie poster contains a traditional barcode that users scan for additional content and promotional information:

The barcode campaign, now taking place in 15 U.S. cities, involves outdoor creative for the movie that includes a small barcode in the corner of the posters. Users can scan these codes with an iPhone equipped with reader software from Red Laser, decode them and link to pages of apparent sales brochures for artificial hearts, kidneys, livers, eyes, and so on.

Other codes link to video clips showing a cable shopping network show touting the latest and most expensive artificial organs—"artiforgs," in the world of the movie—or to a guerilla Web site supposedly representing a movement to resist The Union, the finance arm that underwrites these costly organs and then repossesses them when the owners default.

In the absence of this the movie poster might be provocative and build awareness for the film's release. But this approach will create much more "buzz" and will likely boost sales at the box office. The only question is whether the specific mobile approach (smartphone barcode scanning) is aligned with the target audience, which might be younger and more inclined toward SMS. However, you can't do the rich media/content stuff with feature phones. 

Forget about this particular promotion, SMS and/or barcodes should be thoughtfully incorporated into more traditional media campaigns increasingly as a matter almost of routine. Not only does it make these ads dynamic and interactive, but it offers metrics on response rates as well.