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Barneys New York energizes traditional media buy via QR codes

National print ads will appear in the March issues of select fashion and lifestyle magazines. Barneys has deployed QR codes into both traditional and interactive media to add another dimension to the backstage experience.

“By embedding a mobile bar code on advertisements, brands are able to include more information in a single visual code and a much smaller real estate area than you would if you had to include the product information,” said Laura Marriott, Bellingham, WA-based acting chief marketing officer at NeoMedia Technologies Inc.   

“The 2D code provides access to an unlimited amount of data, which can also be updated without impacting the marketing initiative, therefore lowering costs,” she said.

Ms. Marriott is not affiliated with Barneys. She is an expert on mobile bar code technology.

Barneys would not comment beyond the information it provided in its press release. 

QR-to-mobile Web
The QR code will take users directly to a content-rich experience on the Barneys mobile-optimized Web site at Consumers can browse the site for new arrivals, including handbags, beauty, men’s, women’s and home goods.

The site is strategically designed with the mobile user in mind. The search functionality is front and center, making it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

Additionally, there is an email database sign-up option at the very bottom, so the mobile site also serves as a list builder for Barneys, whereas it can compile a database for future marketing efforts.

Consumers can buy directly from the site, as it is commerce-enabled.

Barneys’ mobile site

Consumers can buy via the mobile site

Multichannel effort
The Barneys campaign is centered around black and white images taken backstage at fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris by photographers such as Nan Goldin, William Klein, Roxanne Lowit, Raymond Meier, Collier Schorr, Stephane Sednaoui and Juergen Teller.

To coincide with the campaign launch, Barneys launched “The Window,” an editorial microsite that can be accessed at A link to the microsite is provided on the mobile site, but The Windows is not optimized for mobile viewing.

Consumers who shop the ecommerce destination can visit for the latest company news, product showcases, in-depth profiles of designers, video and slideshows.

The Window was developed by Barneys New York in conjunction with Group SJR, a digital, media, design and market research firm. It will be edited by Lesley M. M. Blume, a contributing style editor at The Huffington Post, whose work has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Slate and The Daily Beast.

The first print ads for the Barneys campaign broke in major national newspapers on Feb. 6. Online media advertisements broke Feb. 10. 

Additionally, the Barneys New York windows will showcase the simple black and white images.

With the introduction of the Backstage campaign, the awnings of the Madison Avenue flagship store mirror the campaign. The interiors of the store will also be decorated by displays of prints taken from the campaign.
At Fred’s, Barneys New York’s restaurant, the normally red menus will be black and diners will be treated to mini black-and-white cookies.

“Mobile bar codes are becoming a necessary element for brands to integrate into their cross-media initiatives whether out of home, online, television or print,” Ms. Marriott said. “Mobile bar codes allow a brand to energize their traditional and/or digital media buys. 

“For example, by embedding a mobile bar code on a billboard, they are able to activate the advertisement and engage the consumer on-the-go,” she said.

“Once they have established the dialogue with the consumer, whether around product information, movie times, trailers or coupons, they can then continue to correspond, based on consumer opt in, and continue to communicate their brand message, ultimately bringing even more value to the initial ad buy.”