Thursday, October 26, 2006


Mobile marketing comes to kids cartoons

Camera Search! is an interesting mobile marketing service developed by Bandai and Japanese mobile marketing agency D2C using an image recognition system developed by US based Evolution Robotics. Consumers take pictures with their cameraphone of different forms of advertising and labelling (such as pictures in magazines, CD covers, wine labels) and send them to a server using the Camera Search! application on their phone. The server then analyses the image using image recognition technology to identify the product in question, and returns information such as the url of the product’s mobile site, a link to download music or a mobile shopping site selling the product.

Since the product’s launch earlier this year, Bandai and D2C have been adding new services such as outdoor poster advertising and TV commercial recognition. This week, Bandai announced that they will start using Camera Search! with “Crayon Shin-Chan”, a popular children’s cartoon.

Fans of Crayon Shin-Chan can download a free wallpaper for their phone from the cartoon’s mobile site using Camera Search! To access the freebie, all you need to do is snap any scene in the opening credits of the show and send it to the service.

It’s not quite aggressive marketing yet, but parents may have to beware of the mobile as a new tool to enhance nag power in the future.

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