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Times Square promotion combines digital billboards with text messaging

Manhattan digital video billboard with qtags promotes the Rip Curl 2006 brand campaign.

Surfing company Rip Curl is showcasing its new brand campaign for 2006 on a digital video billboard in New York City's Time Square and is using interactive, text messaging-based quick-tag (qtag) technology to track consumer response to its promotion.

The 38x32 video screen, provided by Charter Digital Media, features the call to action "Rip Curl, Follow Your Search." Consumers are instructed to transmit the text message "ripcurl" to the qtags short code 78247. The participant is given access to a Rip Curl Web site video vault where he or she can view a teaser to Rip Curl's upcoming film about surfer Mick Fanning.

The use of qtags is intended to appeal to younger consumers, while providing the advertiser with a means of directly measuring the impact of the signage. Each qtag is assigned a unique Web address and descriptive text reply. The short code works with most mobile phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Upon transmitting the text message, the consumer receives the qtags' reply and Web link, but is promised not to receive any further communication from the advertiser. Advertisers can update the link and reply text and have access to reporting showing volumes of texts, click-throughs and links forwarded to friends.

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