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Allure magazine uses 2D tags to give away free products

Allure magazine is giving away more than $725,000 worth of beauty products to smartphone users who scan a Microsoft Tag within its August issue.

The publication is incorporating Microsoft?s 2D Tags in a multichannel contest that uses print, mobile Web and SMS technology. There are a total of 36 Tags in the Free Stuff issue.

?For the last five years Allure?s Free Stuff issue has given readers the chance to try products straight from the pages of the magazine,? said Linda Wells, editor in chief at Allure, New York. ?Every weekday in August thousands of beauty products and select fashion items will be given away.

?Until now readers have had to log on to their computer at a specific time to enter to win ? we?re still offering this form of entry, but wanted to provide more convenience,? she said. ?With the recent proliferation of mobile, we thought why not use that to connect our readers to the giveaway, from wherever they are?

?We?ve combined mobile Web, 2D bar codes, device ID, SMS and print for a highly-integrated program.?

Mobile allure
Allure readers can enter for a chance to win any of the 159 giveaways ? each with a day, time and deadline ? of 32,358 products.

The Tags are spread to more than 35 pages of editorial pages, which users can scan for a text message reminder 15 minutes before the giveaways on a specific page.

In addition, there is a master Tag on the contest calendar page in the back of the magazine, as well as at that can be scanned for a chance to win any or all of the giveaways.

?When connecting print to the mobile Web, there are roughly four calls to action in use right now?short codes, image recognition, printing a URL and 2D bar codes,? Ms. Wells said. ?We needed a technology that allows automatic, real-time device ID for our registration process to work.

?URLs do not support this,? she said. ?Image recognition lacks a clear call-to-action. Device ID is possible through short codes, but the amount of legal text required on each page would have been difficult to fit with the huge number of giveaways in the magazine.

?Microsoft Tag is the only 2D bar code that transmits device ID in real time so it was a perfect fit.?

Here is a page that features the Tag:

Mobile entry
Several of the beauty giveaways include fragrance from Giorgio Armani, skin care from Lancôme, nail polish from Essie, a Chi curling iron and 19 Fekkai hair products.

Additionally, there are fashion giveaways such as a Calvin Klein handbag, a Devi Kroell blouse, Top Shop shoes and a jacket from Armani Exchange.

?We?re targeting our readers who always have their phone with them and who are on the go,? Ms. Wells said.

Allure?s reader is female and 82 percent are between 18-49 years old. Fifty-seven percent are between 18-34 years old.

?We promoted this in the July issue, offering readers early registration,? Ms. Wells said. ?We are supporting it online, and through our marketing site as well as with the support of the vast beauty blogger network.

?Based on the results of Tag in the August issue, we will consider integrating it into our regular Free Stuff feature,? she said.

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