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Cadillac taps print to showcase new car model via QR codes, calls-to-action

Carmaker Cadillac is tapping print to promote its XTS model with customized mobile bar codes and calls-to-action that give users different experiences based on publication titles.

The ad campaigns direct users to a campaign-specific mobile site that incorporates video, location and photos. The ads are running as a four-fold attached to the inside front cover of magazines such as Fortune.

?The use of the QR code, and the unique mobile site for what we are calling ?view through" print enables the reader to access deeper content about the XTS on their mobile device,? said Sherrie Weitzman, advertising manager for Cadillac XTS, Detroit, MI.
?Each ad, based on the publication it is in, has a unique QR code and unique mobile URL, allowing us to track the activity and level of deeper engagement ? by publication,? she said.

?This way it also provides learning for our print selections. In fact, we have several versions of this view through ad experience ? each one has customized content on the mobile site that is most relevant to the audience of that particular publication.?

Drive on mobile
For the Fortune placement, the Cadillac ads include four main pictures that highlight specific features of the car. Each photograph is framed by an image of a smartphone. The graphics are aimed at showing users that they can learn more about the car via their devices.

Additionally, a mobile bar code is placed in the upper right-hand corner of one page that encourages users to visit the mobile site that is specific for the XTS print ads ?

Cadillac has also placed mobile calls-to-action in across the ads with a links to the site.

An initiative such as this from Cadillac not only educates consumers about a new mobile service but also helps the brand bring another level of engagement to a print ad.

When readers scan the QR code found inside Fortune magazine, they are directed to a mobile landing page where users can view videos or browse a photo gallery of the XTS model.

Additionally, consumers can either type in their ZIP code or use their device?s GPS to find nearby dealers.

Links to Cadillac?s social media sites are also prominently placed at the bottom of the mobile site.

"As a luxury brand we know that penetration of smartphones, tablets and like devices are higher among our upscale, professional, highly-educated audience,? Ms. Weitzman said.

?They have the means to own several of these devices and their busy lifestyles demand the multitasking and easy access to information that these devices enable,? she said.

We also know that multimedia content is important and very often much more engaging that the single dimension of the print medium. The more engagement and interactivity we can generate with our target audience, the greater the likelihood that we can change opinion and consideration of the Cadillac brand ? which is our overarching goal.?

Scan me in
Many advertisers are loading their print ads with mobile bar codes, but very few roll out specific and tailored campaigns.

By taking a magazine?s core readership to develop campaigns, mobile advertisements can segment one particular demographic, which makes the experience more specific to mobile users.

Additionally, this particular campaign from Cadillac can be tracked via the campaign-specific links that gives the carmaker a deeper insight into how the campaign is performing.

?Automakers have historically concentrated on other marketing mediums like TV and radio. Incorporating mobile into their print ads will allow them to differentiate their brand and take it a step farther to interact with their target consumers,? said Bobby Marhamat, founder of Hipscan, Menlo Park, CA.

Mr. Marhamat is not affiliated with Cadillac or the campaign. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

?The marketing strategy is all about engagement.  Further engaging users to interact with the brand ? whether that is by showcasing a video that intrigues the consumer to learn more about a product or service, having the user get closer to the brand by interacting with their social media channels or simply getting more detail behind the product/service to increase the likelihood of a purchase ? is key to consumer engagement,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York