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Canadian broadcaster Global TV launches interactive smartphone-to-TV contest

December 15, 2010

Mobile bar codes are useful tools for media companies

Mobile bar codes are useful tools for media companies

Canadian broadcaster Global Television is interacting directly with viewers via smartphones and enabling mobile commerce through an on-screen mobile bar code campaign.

In a Global TV first, Mobio Identity Systems mobile bar codes will be featured during the News Hour Final, letting viewers to enter a contest in real-time using Mobio’s applications for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones. If viewers are unable to watch the News Hour Final, they can visit the Global TV Web site to scan the contest bar code.

“Global is interested in engaging their viewers in a deeper relationship,” said Mark Binns, chief marketing officer of Mobio Identity Systems, Vancouver, BC, Canada. “QR codes make TV, a static medium, truly interactive.

“Using QR codes, Global can engage their viewers in a real dialogue,” he said. “Ultimately, the target is all Global TV viewing audience, but there is a natural subset of their viewers who carry smartphones and use apps.

“So, the Global contest will typically be reaching the 20-55-year-old smartphone owner group.”

On-air QR codes
For the two weeks from Dec. 6 to Dec. 20, a Mobio bar code appears onscreen during the Global News Hour Final.

Using the Mobio application on users’ iPhone or Android phone, they can scan the barcode when it appears on the TV screen for a chance to win a 50-inch TV, home theatre system from Future Shop and a Shaw HD package.

Leveraging QR bar code technology, Mobio helps broadcasters, content producers and advertisers reach viewing audiences and influence purchasing decisions in real-time.

Viewers can now buy products and services directly off the TV screen.

With the recent recession fresh in people’s minds and wallets, the current holiday shopping season has become a serious competition to grab consumer attention.

Whether it is an expensive advertisement in a magazine or a flashy promotion on TV, consumers are most often swayed by an engaging customer experience, and these days, that means interaction via mobile phone. 

Users can get Mobio through the App Store and Android Market, where it is available as a free download.

Users can create an account with or without a credit card.

Secure registration of a credit card gives users the ability to scan any Mobio bar code to make a purchase or in this case, enter the Global TV contest.

Mobio will be available on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry in the first quarter of 2011.

Mr. Binns said that by using Mobio, Global TV can get to know their viewers on an individual level. They can learn about viewer preferences and interests through direct interaction through QR codes.

Global TV, over time, can even start to deliver personalized content to each viewer using on-screen QR codes.

“QR codes enable an interaction between a company and a consumer in the mobile space,” Mr. Binns said. “Anywhere a bar code can be displayed, an interaction or transaction can occur, so QR codes are transforming static media—TV, newspapers and billboards—into interactive media.

“By having more places to truly interact with consumers, these companies now have more places to transact sales, advertise or deliver personalized content, all of which advances the commercial and marketing goals of the company,” he said. “Mobile commerce is now growing exponentially heading into 2011.

“In particular, various forms of alternative payments such as mobile payments could account for 20 percent of transactions by 2012—the combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600 billion globally by 2013, according to Juniper Research.”

Final Take
News Hour

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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