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Macy?s taps 2D bar codes to help make wishes come true

Macy?s has placed a Jagtag in its print ad in am New York newspaper to let consumers watch the Believe video, which is part of the retailer's National Believe Day campaign in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The department store chain has declared Dec. 10, 2010 National Believe Day and is asking consumers to write a letter to Santa to help make wishes come true via television, print, mobile and other digital channels. Consumers can bring their stamped letter to Macy?s and drop it into a letter box. For each letter received, Macy?s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"QR codes are a great way for Macy's to provide additional and dynamic content to our customers," said Holly Thomas, vice president of media relations and cause marketing at Macy's, New York.

"We chose Jagtag because of the simple process for the customer - just take a picture of the code and text it," she said. "In a few seconds the customer is texted a link to our gift guide or a video with Virginia.

"QR codes make the customer experience easier because they don't have to remember a URL or a short code."

AM New York ad
Here is the ad that Macy?s ran in am New York:

Consumers were asked to take a picture of the Jagtag. Verizon and AT&T customers were asked to text the picture to 524824.

All other consumers were asked to email the picture to

In return, participants were able to view the Macy?s Believe video.

Here is the video:


Macy's and mobile
Mobile has helped Macy's enhance its holiday marketing this year.

The medium has helped Macy's enhance the customer experience. 

"The Macy's mobile Web site allows the customer to take the magic of Believe with them wherever," Ms. Thomas said. "From finding events, getting an update on our Believe campaign letter counts or looking at the Macy's holiday gift guide - there is so much information at their fingertips, and the mobile phone is their most constant companion.

"Now, with the new technology of QR codes, they are able to engage with an additional content experience delivered direct to their phone," she said.

Bar code craze
Bar codes are increasingly popular among brands these days. And not only for the holidays.

Norma Kamali has done some exciting things like placing 2D codes throughout the store that actually linked to lotto experiences. 

So, someone could immediately win the product they are scanning, or they may just watch a video of Beyonce wearing that item. 

Bergdorf Goodman is using ScanLife codes on its storefront window and in-store signage to link to its holiday blog and display some of the latest trends in fashion.

?2D bar codes give brands an immediate link to more dynamic and engaging content from virtually any media,? said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. ?Consumers are adopting this technology very quickly because it makes it easier for them to navigate in one-click.?

Jagtag was unable to comment in time for press. Scanbuy, also a large player in the 2D bar code space, commented generally on the benefits of bar codes for brands and not on Macy?s effort specifically.

Dan Butcher reported for this story.