Jane, a women's magazine catering to 18 to 34 year olds (see left), and Mobot, a new company offering photo recognition software, have partnered to create an advertising promotion based upon readers snapping camera phone photos of ads in Jane.
Thanks to an entry in picturephoning.com and an e-mail from Russell, I learned about the article in The New York Times discussing the camera phone promotion.
Here's what Jane says about the contest on its Web site, "You won't want to flip through the September issue of JANE without your camera phone. There's a ton of freebies, sweepstakes, MP3s and cool stuff in it for you. Grab your September issue and register below.
"Just for registering, you will be entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree with one or a combination of advertisers in this issue...your choice....Fill out your information in the form below, and you'll be eligible to receive cool offers, information, and even a few samples thrown in from the brands you choose."
The promotion, called Jane Talks Back, offers a variety of discounts and chances to win gifts if readers snap photos of specific ads.
The New York Times reports, "Advertisers who are participating in Jane Talks Back include Kmart, which will give users $5 gift cards; Calvin Klein Jeans, which will give away 25 jean jackets; and Guess, which is offering 10 percent discounts to readers who snap and send pictures of its ad.
"The magazine also pulled in new advertisers with the promotion, including Sony Playstation 2, Trojan condoms, Jack Daniels whiskey, Puma Fragrances and Samsung, which was designated as the official camera phone of Jane Talks Back."
Glad to see this promotion
While I can understand people thinking, "Of all the uses of camera phones, advertising is one of the worst," it's a lot better that publishers and advertisers explore innovative uses for camera phones rather than publishers accusing readers of "digital shoplifting" when they snap camera phone photos from magazines and send them to friends.
We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg for business applications and camera phones. Companies involved in the camera phone barcode business, such as Neomedia Technologies, Scanbuy, OP3 and Nextcode, are promoting handsets for e-commerce applications.
Of course, for Jane magazine type of applications and e-commerce applications, it's important to conduct responsible promotions. That means holding the reins tight on selling lists and sending unsolicited advertisements.