out-of-home NFC

We’re exploring out-of-home NFC experiences, and how you can incorporate NFC into your out-of-home media plans. NFC connects your audience to digital and interactive content through opt-in permissions to provide additional value.

What is NFC?
Near field communication, or NFC, is a technology that enables communication via a tag with an embedded chip. NFC powers mobile payments, peer-to-peer data transfer and content delivery without the need of an internal power source. No batteries required! It’s been around for decades, but it’s gaining traction.

NFC tags are usually small indoor/outdoor stickers that can be placed nearly anywhere: posters, lanyards, brochures, products, packaging, kiosks, etc. Their simplicity is a benefit. (It shouldn’t be about the technology, but what the technology can deliver.) Most NFC tags can store up to 1 megabyte of information.

To receive the NFC tag’s information, an NFC-enabled device just needs to come within close range (4 inches or closer) to the tag. We call this a ‘tap.’ Data will display on the device; sometimes that’s a video, a public website or a portal to exclusive, real-time updates. Content can be updated regularly or adapt based on location, making NFC an extremely relevant interaction point for consumers.

Out-of-home NFC experiences intercept consumers while they’re on-the-go. Incorporating an NFC tag into your out-of-home creative can add a layer of experiential marketing to your campaign.

Why is NFC on the rise?
NFC is not new; it dates back to 2002. While Android has had open NFC capability on devices for years, Apple has recently added NFC to iPhones. Apple released NFC capability in stages. First, NFC supported Apple Wallet. Then, NFC was accessible through certain tag-reading apps. But today, Apple has opened up its NFC capabilities on its latest devices (iPhone XS, XS Max and XR). This means, you no longer need an app to scan the tag.

Mobile handsets equipped with NFC have increased 400% from 2013 to 2018. They represent 64% of all smartphone shipments (source: Blue Bite). This is expected to continue to grow.

Because it’s more accessible and users are learning how NFC applies to their lives, we’re seeing a surge in NFC interest. As the internet of things continues to evolve, NFC will likely be a reliable facilitator of communication.

How can NFC be used in out-of-home advertising?
NFC allows consumers to opt-in to receive additional content, digitally, from out-of-home media placements. This is another way advertisers are blurring the physical with digital, blending out-of-home with mobile. NFC provides a mobile engagement that is valuable, measurable and actionable.

Brand ambassadors can encourage more participation by inviting consumers to tap the NFC codes. When a brand ambassador educates and assists the audience, the brand will achieve greater content consumption.

You can use NFC to encourage app downloads or for contest entries. On previous campaigns, we’ve handed out business card-sized tap zones that could be shared with friends and family, too.

out-of-home nfc

Movie advertisements can serve a trailer. Retailers can link ads to special offers or coupons. Music streaming ads can connect to a sample playlist. Boost impressions on whatever digital content your brand owns by using NFC to deliver it across out-of-home placements.

NFC tap zones can also be integrated with social media, e.g., ‘Tap here to tweet this!’ This is another way out-of-home NFC tags can integrate your physical and digital media plans.

NFC enables an interactive engagement that’s memorable and relevant to the audience.

What are other use cases for NFC?
There are endless possibilities for NFC and the types of content you would want to deliver. Here are a few…

  • Embedded product information – Place the NFC code directly within your product. This Adidas soccer ball uses NFC to disperse exclusive World Cup content. Spyder’s NFC-enabled ski jacket provides real-time snow reports and local trail maps. From tutorials to gamification, NFC can create an imaginative way for consumers to engage with your product.
  • Easy reordering – For products like Keurig or Drinkfinity that require frequent reorders, an NFC tag on the package or on the drink maker can link to a customizable, one-click reorder page. A tag on your dog’s dish can make reordering pet food a cinch. Or a tag on your laundry detergent bottle can do the same.
  • Brand experiences – NFC can unlock content or rewards in a progressive format. For example, create a tech-driven scavenger hunt, inviting people to go to multiple touchpoints to discover new content. Or use NFC at different stations within your experiential marketing footprint to help educate and inform. Trade show exhibits are another way NFC can create experiences for attendees as they wait for an available booth attendant.
  • Printed materials – Brochures or direct mail pieces can offer tap zones to connect readers to a digital environment. Where you used to place a QR code, you can now incorporate NFC.
  • Virtual ticketing – From mass transit to small events, NFC-enabled devices can tap you through a ticket booth. NFC is a secure way to use mobile ticketing, and it contributes to the reduction of paper tickets.

If you’ve used NFC for other purposes, add to the discussion in the comments below.

Where can I learn more about NFC?
We recommend Blue Bite’s Complete Guide to NFC.

Or, give us a ring! We’ll be happy to talk out-of-home NFC experiences with you in more detail!