Strong response to ZapCode platform at trade launch - Mar 22, 2007 (ST)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Strong response to ZapCode platform at trade launch

By Gabriel Chen
Mar 22, 2007
The Straits Times


MORE than 400 advertisers and marketeers yesterday attended the highly anticipated trade launch of ZapCode - a new mobile phone technology that lets consumers download ad information on the run.

Representatives of heavy-hitters such as SingTel, Unilever, Coca-Cola and DaimlerChrysler were spotted pointing their mobile phones at the various posters and ads, and taking snapshots of the code, known as a ZapCode.

ZAPPING ADS EASILY: Mr Alan Chan, SPH's chief executive, tries out the new mobile phone product as Mr Robin Hu, executive vice-president of the media group's Chinese newspapers and newspaper services divisions, looks on. Photo/ CAROLINE CHIA

These ZapCodes link 'interactive' advertisements to a remote server using a special type of bar code.

After consumers take a snapshot of the code with their phones, this is sent to the remote server, which returns a picture, video or website link to the phone.

ZapCode is distributed by SPH NewMedia, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

Speaking at the launch, Mr Leslie Fong, SPH's executive vice-president of marketing, said that SPH newspapers still lead the way in terms of reach and market share of ad spending.

But at the same time, SPH will continue to bring in new technologies and platforms to ensure that the company stays relevant in the changing media landscape.

'The ZapCode that we launch today is but one example of what we can and will do,' he said.

Mr Fong added that ZapCodes add an interactive element and a new dimension to 2-D newspaper advertising, as they pack 'more value' into print advertisements.

Already, interest from marketeers has been very strong, said SPH NewMedia general manager William Tan. 'They're all trying to see what they can do for themselves.'