Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Mobile Bar code Technology in Television Commercials

image

A screenshot One of Bluefly’s “Closet Confessions” commercials, featuring Bethenny Frankel of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” with scannable information about things for sale on Bluefly. Image courtesy of the New York Times.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
September 30, 2010

First, this is a workplace appropriate blog with nothing remotely to do with the sexual orientation of bar codes.

I don’t know about you, but I get a kick when my professional life intersects with my personal life. I work at home and check out CNBC and cable news during lunch. Today, as I was rummaging through the fridge for something to eat, on comes a UPS commercial with someone singing about the joys of logistics to the tune of That’s Amore. My wife will tell you that I could’ve written those lyrics.

Fast forward a couple of hours, and I just clicked on the New York Times after editing a story on multi-modal data collection by Sara Specter that will appear in our October issue. A headline caught my eye: Bar Codes Add Detail on Items in TV Ads”>Bar Codes Add Detail on Items in TV Ads. The technology is supplied by Scanbuy.

I’ll bite. According to Elizabeth Olson, the reporter, bar codes are popping up on the Bravo cable station in television ads created by online retailer Bluefly. The 45-second ads show “snippets” of interviews with fashion designers and fashionable celebrities.

If you happen to point a cell phone equipped with a scanner at the on-screen bar code, you’ll be linked to specially-created “Closet Confessions,” five-minute long episodes that feature interviews with fashion designers and celebrities who take the viewer on a tour of their closets. You’ll also be offered a $30 discount on a $150 purchase at bluefly.com.

The Times says the bar codes use a traditional “quick response” bar code to connect a viewer to a website or video from the advertiser.

As far as I know, I don’t have a bar code reader on my BlackBerry. If I did, I’m not sure if I want to start scanning my television to check out Nicky Hilton’s closet. Some doors should just be left closed. But, a Bluefly executive tells the Times that “Closet Confession” fans have increased the size of their shopping orders by 50% since the bar codes started running.

As a supply chain guy, I have just one word of warning to Bluefly: We all know that bar codes are pretty reliable, but they occasionally misread. I hate to think of what might show up on my phone with the wrong scan.

From more information on Bar Code systems, check-out Modern’s Critical Topics page on Mobility: Mobile and Wireless Systems

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Modern's annual lift truck issue takes a look at how CN manages mobile crane maintenance, the Top 20 lift truck suppliers, a look at the results of our annual reader survey, a state of the fuel cell market, and more.

Canada’s largest rail operator has developed a new parts management and maintenance program to reduce the downtime of mobile cranes at its intermodal terminals.

Our list grows top heavy following another big merger, but after a year of relative calm, the market is heating up once again.

With plans to buy a total of more than 1,100 lift trucks in coming months, readers share their perspectives on spending, maintenance practices and technology usage.

With use by Walmart, BMW and other large, 24/7 facility operators, hydrogen-powered lift trucks are proven at the higher end of the market, but can they catch on elsewhere? Fuel cell providers are betting that turnkey, streamlined offerings will help.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. Contact Bob Trebilcock.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA