Zapcode, a new technology or another commercial gimmick?
For those who had been following the newspaper for this two months may have noticed this thing called "zapcode" on pages of the newspaper.
When I first saw it, I was excited over this particular new technology and wanted to try it out, only to be dampened by the prospect of getting caught by my teachers, so I brushed the idea aside. As I was websurfing that day, I found "techchick" showing us how to use ZAPCODE. Interested to find out more, I decided to go to zapcode's website to read up on it.
However, to my dismay, the more I understand the usage of "zapcode" the more i find it familiar. Isnt it very similar to the same commercial gimmick of "mymall.sg" some time ago? Where did mymall went? into oblivious I guess. Not to label the site as a scam, I label mymall.sg as a website that makes us of our curiosity mind. When we watched the commercials on TV, our curiosity would naturally lead us to the website and type in the keyword gleefully. However, to my greatest disappointment, more often than not, it will lead us to a page of e-flyer. Very disappointing indeed, I must say we are cheated of our feelings. It was claimed on the commercial that fabulous offers await us! I see non of the offers.
Very similar to mymall's campaign, zapcode promises special offers if we manage to zap. However, we must keep in mind of the small prints. It is stated that we have to pay for the data transfer via GPRS. If I am not wrong, it can add up to a hefty amont. Over the website, it was shown that "zapcode" could be all over singapore, there may even be merchandises made for zap code! I must say, currently it is restricted to the newspaper medium.
So how does it work? You have do download an application, after which, usign your phone camera, you are able to take a picture of a picture code and decipher it. Sounds pretty cool... The content we download are subjected to GPRS charges.
Why will I label it as a commercial gimmick. Firstly, it is set up by the singapore news press holdings and it allows people to buy their unique zap codes. The fee is cheaper than a newspaper ad, but it is not very cheap either.
$ 100.00 for 7 days for a unique code which will be printed else where, ie not on on the mainstream newspaper. You will probably not get much exposure if you only buy the code. And if it is to be printed on the newspaper, the price is inflated up to 500 dollars. Not cheap at all.
Thus, if the buyers of such code had to pay such a high amount, what information will be passed down to us, the consumer? It will definitely be full of advertisements! This is to broadcast their own product, which is the very reason why they bought the code in the first place. I do not think SPH will make sure every advertiser to give great offers or freebies.
However, I believe this campaign may take off successfully at the start. The reason being it is mysterious. Mymall.sg was able to attract such hype even though we know what the advertisement is going to be about (the keyword is the company normally), thus the zapcode is just a picture with colours, it will certainly attract enough attention for people to try "zapping" so that they wont miss anything out.
What do you think? ZapCode, technology breakthrough or gimmick?