The move is the first part of a long-term strategy to bring this interactive mobile medium to RMG’s entire network footprint of 75,000 digital-out-of-home (DOOH) screens over the next 6 months.
The platform, branded mTAG, will facilitate a variety of interactions between brands and consumers by leveraging DOOH screens in venues to drive user action on their mobile devices, according to the company. Powered by NFC and QR Codes, mTAG will enable the delivery of content, drive mobile application downloads, transmit coupons and offers, facilitate purchases and participation in rewards/loyalty programs.
As part of the initial rollout, Hotels.com and The New York Times have signed on as inaugural sponsors and are launching campaigns that deliver exclusive mobile content and drive downloads of their smartphone applications. Users will see branded content for Hotels.com and The New York Times on the RMG Displays with a call-to-action instructing them to “Tap or Scan” the nearby mTAG placard installed at or near the point of sale. Once the users touch their phone to the NFC enabled mTAG, location-specific content will automatically be displayed on their mobile device via Blue Bite’s proprietary content delivery and management system. Users will also have the ability to bookmark specific mTAGs to view content and offers at their favorite locations in the future. For those not yet familiar with NFC technology, the same content will be available via a QR Code.
“Mobile devices have become an ever-present component of our daily lives, and marketers around the world have been searching for innovative ways to use these devices to engage consumers in contextually relevant environments,” said Garry McGuire, CEO of Reach Media Group. "The integration of RMG’s digital media network with the mTAG platform provides infinite possibilities for brands to easily engage and then activate their target audience with relevant content and compelling offers at moments of maximum influence."
Google has already released an NFC enabled handset, the Nexus S, with more models to follow soon. Other major players in the mobile space including Blackberry, HTC and Nokia have announced plans for integrating the NFC capability into their future handsets with unconfirmed reports of Apple following suit.
Juniper Research estimates that 300 million mobile phones will be NFC-enabled by 2014, the majority of which will be in the U.S. market.