SI Promoting Swimsuit Issue With Mobile Barcodes

Sports Illustrated’s widely anticipated swimsuit issue may need no introduction, but SI is heavying up promotion this year anyway, using mobile barcodes for the first time to promote the issue.
 
Print ads containing the promotional barcodes will begin to appear Jan. 25, two weeks before the issue’s Feb. 9 publication date. The ads will run in SI and other Time Inc. titles like Time, People and Fortune.
 
The barcodes also will appear on Las Vegas hotel room keys and in New York City subway car ads.
 
Users who snap a photo of the barcode with a camera phone will see photos of this year’s “rookie class,” or first-time swimsuit issue models.
 
“I don’t know that it needs promotion, but we like to drum up excitement about it,” Charlie Saunders, executive director of integrated marketing for the SI Group, said of the swimsuit issue.
 
JagTag, whose barcodes have also appeared in Wired, Playboy and USA Today, believes this is the first time a publisher has used barcodes in other media to promote its own publication, said Dudley Fitzpatrick, CEO of JagTag.
 
SI also is exploring running barcodes in the swimsuit issue itself that would link to behind-the-scenes mobile videos of the model shoots and is talking to potential advertisers.
 
SI tested the barcode technology, from JagTag, in June 2009 to launch the online archives of its swimsuit issue.
 
The swimsuit issue sold over 4 million copies in 2009, including more than 1 million newsstand copies.