ZapCode adds interactive element to ads - Mar 22, 2007 (BT)

BackMar 22, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

ZapCode adds interactive element to ads

By Tamara Mohanan Kuppusamy
Mar 22, 2007
The Business Times


ZAPCODE, a product which enables more interactive advertising, may be leased from SPH NewMedia for as little as $10 a month, said the company at the trade launch yesterday. ZapCode allows advertisers to reach consumers in 'real-time,' by connecting print media to cyberspace through its mobile phone software.

'ZapCodes add an interactive element, a new dimension, if you will, to 2-D newspaper advertising. They pack more value into your print advertisements. They open up a whole new vista,' said Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) marketing executive vice-president Leslie Fong.

ZapCode allows users to simply point their mobile phone cameras at a ZapCode icon and click. When installed on a mobile phone or PDA, the software reads and deciphers the ZapCode and triggers the sending of data back to the mobile device. The data, in the form of a WAP (URL) site, may contain extra information and pictures, vouchers, music and even videos.

'This technology is one small step for man, one giant leap into your phone,' proclaimed William Tan, general manager of SPH NewMedia. He explained that under the ZapCode lease agreement, SPH would help develop the advertiser's WAP (URL) site and its contents, and would email the designated ZapCode image to the advertiser.

Those wishing to use the ZapCode exclusively in their SPH print advertisements would pay $500 a week, or $10,000 per annum. The ZapCode icon could also be printed on clothes or even skin, as a tattoo. For these non-business uses, SPH said it would lease the technology for $10 a month or $50 a year.

SPH NewMedia, a unit of SPH, is the licensee and master distributor of the technology behind ZapCode (known as 'ColorCode') in Singapore. ColorCode was originally developed and launched in Korea by academics at Yonsei University in Seoul; its success there led to its Japanese debut in 2005. ColorZip South East Asia (CZSEA), which currently holds the rights to the patented technology, said it believes the uptake in Singapore will similarly be strong.

'In the space of two and a half weeks, 50,000 people downloaded the technology,' said CZSEA chief executive officer John Moore. 'In the last two months, probably 100 advertisers have approached ColorZip,' he added.