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Scan This Product: 10 Brands Test Stickybits Barcode App

  |  November 16, 2010   |  Comments

First to launch is a Ben & Jerry's promotion asking users to scan two fair trade ice cream flavors.


Ben & Jerry's has created a Stickybits promotion in conjunction with the version 2 launch of the barcode scanning app, which hit the iPhone app store yesterday.

People who have installed the app, which can read QR codes and standard barcodes using a phone's built-in camera, can win a Ben & Jerry's t-shirt by scanning two pints of the Burlington ice cream maker's fair trade flavors. Its agency, Edelman Digital, worked with Stickybits to call attention to its pursuit of fair trade certified ingredients.

The Burlington, VT-based ice cream brand is one of at least 10 advertisers to create paid promotions using Stickybits' rebuilt platform, which emphasizes game dynamics and introduces a range of new features for brands. Those features include a content management system, an analytics dashboard, and a feature-rich promotions manager. Of the three offerings, only the promotions manager is a paid product, requiring a flat fee, though Stickybits declined to disclose its cost.

Among the changes users will notice are a bigger focus on sharing via Facebook, Twitter, and Stickybits' own system of follows, plus a more gamified (define) interface with points, level-up bonuses, and a leaderboard. (Game features have become de rigeur on check-in and location-based platforms like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Scvngr, as well as their local media forbearers such as Yelp.)

Many advertisers aside from Ben & Jerry's have launched or are in the process of launching Stickybits promotions. They include Elmer's Glue, Pepsi, and Fiji Water, among others.

Experimentation is the rule with these early efforts, which are testing a hodgepodge of sweepstakes, giveaways, contests, and deals like so much spaghetti flung against the kitchen wall. For instance:

Elmer's Glue will invite Stickybits users to scan participating products, upload a photo of a creation made using the product, and be entered to win a large gift basket.

Fiji Water has created a giveaway promotion that is scheduled to kick off next week. Individuals who scan one of their products can win home delivery of water for a year.

Chicago Tribune, in support of its "TribLocal" news initiative, will place 50 barcodes in neighborhoods throughout the Chicago metro area. People interacting with those barcodes can comment, get news, or win prizes from advertisers.

Universal Music Group's Polydor Records has created a campaign to support just-released NERD record "Nothing." Stickybits users who scan the album's barcode and write a review are entered to win an outfit designed by head singer Pharrell Williams.

Naked Pizza in San Diego, has added a QR Code to their pizza boxes. One out of every 10 people who scan the QR code using the Stickybits app will get a free pizza.

Rum brand Don Q, Pepsi, Wonderful Pistachios, and NHL team the Washington Capitals are all also leveraging the platform.

"We're still young, and we want to get some great brands on board using the system," said Steve Schlafman, VP of business development at Stickybits. "Now it's a matter of [showing] the product is really solid."

Stickybits needs to prove it can process large numbers of scans on behalf of brand clients. For its Ben & Jerry's tie-in, the initial goal is 500 scans, though the company hopes to achieve far more than that.

Stickybits' Promotions Manager allows brands to specify what a user needs to do to unlock a promotion. Options include scanning a product, scanning a product with friends, posting a comment, and scanning a combination of products. The latter option was Ben & Jerry's choice for leveraging the platform.

While Stickybits will drive awareness and traffic to many client promotions, brands are advised to support their deals through media buys and direct customer outreach.

For instance, Schlafman said Harper Collins is encouraging people to scan a new book release, and ran a print ad last weekend to make that happen. "Long story short, one of the ways people are going to find out is through brand partners," he said.

Its free content management system lets brands claim their barcodes and append media to them. Its dashboard, also free, can report on the number of scans a barcode receives, as well as promotion response data, gender and age data drawn from user profiles, and location data.

Stickybits remains small in terms of active users - approximately 50,000 used the app in October. The New York-based company hopes to see that number grow rapidly with the changes introduced in its dramatic redesign.


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Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

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