Blue Bite and Reach Media Group Partner To Launch First-Ever NFC-Enabled Ad Network

In a first-of-its-kind launch, Blue Bite — the leading proximity marketing provider in the US — has teamed with digital media provider Reach Media Group to deploy an NFC-enabled Digital-Out-of-Home Network in the U.S.

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.  At the heart of the massive launch is a new platform dubbed “mTag,” which facilitates a variety of interactions between brands and consumers by leveraging DOOH screens in venues to drive user action on their mobile devices.  Powered by NFC and QR Codes, mTAG will enable the delivery of rich content, drive mobile application downloads, transmit coupons and offers, facilitate purchases and participation in rewards/loyalty programs.

As part of the initial rollout, 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 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.

RMG Networks and Blue Bite both have experience in this sort of thing — both have been successfully integrating DOOH and mobile for over 2 years, launching campaigns with Bluetooth, WiFi, mobile web, QR Codes and SMS elements.  The two companies believe that NFC represents a new era in mobile interactivity, which will both increase the effectiveness and accountability of mobile campaigns for marketers, and simultaneously provide an improved experience for consumers.

“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.  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” said Garry McGuire, CEO of Reach Media Group.

To me, it’s refreshing to see a new take on the power of mobile marketing outside the traditional channels — namely SMS, mobile apps, mobile Web, etc.  For long-time readers of MMW, you know that I’ve long been a proponent of proximity-based advertising, when done correctly.  Blue Bite is one of those companies that’s done it right, and this partnership should prove successful given the massive reach RMG Networks provides.  We’ll definitely be watching this partnership closely and reporting on the results.  We’ve embedded a demo video of the NFC/QR Code-enabled network already in use in San Francisco below: