Still some time to go before Google gets its print advertisement venture up and running, but it has already begun hogging the limelight by including 2D bar codes on print ads. The bar codes can well be made use of to reach the online existence of the advertiser, wherein you could get more details about the advertised product to help you with the purchase.
"Recently, you may have seen newspaper ads for jewelry retailer Blue Nile placed through the Google Print Ads platform," goes the official statement. The Google footer on the adverts not only included the 2D bar codes but several other response mechanisms such as URL, search terms, phone number, coupon code and SMS code. However, to reach to the relevant online content you would need compatible cellphones to "click" on the print ads.
The 2D bar codes are not new they have been used in Japan for some time (eg on business cards) and are now gaining popularity in other countries as well. They are just like the usual bar codes but they can encode significantly more information.
If your phone is compatible, then you can use it by capturing a picture of the bar code with the cellphone and a special decoding software reads the encoded information, to prompt your phone's browser to visit a URL.
The feature would not only help the target audience but also the advertisers. For the readers it means less trouble, because you don't need to type in the URL, further it lets you move directly to the relevant page. Moreover, the advertisers can track and analyze the performance of their ad campaign.
While the prospects are promising, a couple of things would need to be worked out such as the share of profit between Google, the mobile manufacturers and the carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. It would also entail educating the advertiser of the benefits and more. But Google doesn't always need to turn to others for help, if the new mobile operating system slated for a release sometime this year catches on, it could help Google overcome some of the hurdles.