Google is moving ahead with its print ad program involving barcode technology with a couple of advertisers acting as test cases, reports ClickZ.
Google's enables advertisers to place small square barcodes beside print ads. Readers who see the ad can snap a picture of the barcode with their mobile devices and view promotions on their handhelds.
Companies testing the system can also incorporate different direct response triggers to the model, in some cases that an 800 number, or even a special set of Google search terms that bring up sponsored links.
eHealth, a health insurance comparison site, has been testing the system and using site visits as its metric for success. Cruise.com is also looking at site visits to gauge the viability of the model and includes an 800 number with its ads as well.
Jewelry retailer Blue Nile used specialized search terms to accompany their print ads. Searching for "Blue Nile 100" on Google brings the official site up as a sponsored link, whereas a search for the company name returns a hodgepodge of unrelated links.
Google admits the technology driving its program is still a year and a half away from being mainstream. But systems like this are already in use in Europe and have found some success.