Are you in the market to advertise something that’s so unique that it is bound to raise a few eyebrows if advertised in the local newspaper? I mean will you even know if someone has even noticed your advert?? Google, through AdWords/AdSense has created perhaps the most advanced advertising measurement system in the world.Google has come up with a unique method to help you, ‘Cryptic/ interactive Barcodes’ . Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider alerts us to this new offering from Google: the ability to purchase ads within newspapers that contain a 2D bar code. If a consumer sees such an ad, they can capture a picture of the barcode, and special software will then de-code it and send them to a specified page on the mobile Web. Apparently, this advertising format is already gaining popularity in Japan. By making newspaper ads interactive, advertisers will have much more insight into how their ads are performing, and presumably, be able to get a better return on their investment. For consumers, the ad format beats writing down a phone number or cutting out a coupon. A mobile exec tells Frommer that probably only around 1% of phones in the US have the necessary software installed. Thus, while including a bar code in a print ad might be a nice novelty, it’s not likely to be a good investment at this time.

That said, with Google Android ramping up this year with the support of most of the carriers, the company clearly has a plan for how to get the software on more phones. As usual, Google is aiming big on this one, and has a very clever strategy for making it work. However, I think it is likely still at least a few years until they get enough traction to make barcode ads commonplace.

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