RFID: blurring the lines between on and offline experiences

Still relatively unheard of amongst the masses, RFID or radio frequency identification technology has recently made the headlines as it is potentially going to be adopted for use at summer festivals in the UK. Glastonbury organiser, Michael Eavis has confirmed that he is looking into using the technology – read more here.

RFID technology offers many exciting prospects for brands who are keen to integrate on and offline experiences. RFID possesses that WOW factor that really gets people talking. And combined with social media, RFID gets people sharing.

How RFID works in conjunction with social? And what can it do for brands?

RFID bracelets or tags can be synchronised to a user’s Facebook profile. With a single swipe, the user can then tag, like and check-in, all in real-time.

A number of pioneering brands have already experimented with RFID technology, cashing in on real-world events in order to grow their social profiles and extend their reach through social media.

Coca Cola was an early adopter of RFID, providing teenagers with wristbands holidaying at the Coca Cola Summer village. This video provides you with a snapshot overview. The teenagers loved this exciting new offering, which auto-tagged them in photos uploaded to Coca Cola Facebook page.

The use of RFID for experiential events boosts branded page activity as fans share content, whilst also creating amplification and awareness through their individual social profiles. This user-generated content acts as a magnet for new visitors and potentially new fans, drawing in interest from across the social space. For the existing fans, RFID activity serves to further reinforce their positive attitude towards the brand, nurturing advocacy and retaining interest. Those who aren’t at the event can still feel and be involved, engaging through comments on RFID social content.

Videos and photos are the most popular forms of online content, which is handy as real world activity can be easily translated into the social space in these formats.

© Canneszions. “Coca Cola Like Machine” Video.

To sum up…

We are still oohing and aahing at the boundless opportunities that RFID can bring in social terms, which certainly cannot be summed up in one small blog post. It certainly seems likely that this ingenious technology will develop into a mainstream experiential technology as the divide betweens what’s social and what’s real continues to narrow. It’s one to watch.

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