I started writing this post on May 17, and never got the time to continue with the research and examples for it. A month later, I hope it’s no longer obsolete.

RFID is a kind of technology that started being implemented for several brands around the world in order for promotion purposes of course in a “social media” kind of way.

In Lebanon, we are almost always late when it comes to implementing new technologies (not that RFID is new), and sometimes even on the creative side we are behind. Even though we all know how much creativity can be drawn from us Lebanese, and we have seen it happen with many agencies, some sadly don’t fall in that category. And also sadly, it might be a cognitive thing (any sociologist in the house?), we tend to excel when we are abroad, but when we are in Lebanon, we always feel the need to see what they did abroad (of course there are many exceptions).

Anyway, since I am not a creative person, I am far from it, as most of you know I am a Computer Science post-grad, my favorite subjects were Computer Architecture and the like, and I like Trigonometry, so yes, I am not a creative person, but one of the things I do well (or so I think), is picking up on patterns, and from what I see, I think there is a lot of room for RFID marketing kind of campaigns (and QR codes as well, but that’s a whole other post).

Time to talk about RFID. What is RFID?

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that uses communication through the use of radio waves to transfer data between a reader and an electronic tag attached to an object for the purpose of identification and tracking. You can read more here.

Some examples of how RFID have been used.

This is what Mashable said about it, I will just copy the description in case you have Ontornet in Lebanon.

The carmaker was filmed seeking to boost its Facebook “Likes” with a push at the Amsterdam Motor Show, using RFID-enabled cards. Attendees at the show could use the cards to check in to pillars near Renault’s cars and log in to their Facebook accounts where they could “Like” various models.

But really, check the videos! Reading the above quote makes it seem boring.

Okay, so this is for Hyundai, very similar to Renault’s. You can read the full thing here.

Hyundai has the most Facebook “Liked” cars at the AutoRai 2011 in Amsterdam. By including social media at their stand at the biggest automotive event of the Netherlands Hyundai had an exiting new feature to boost up their offline and online success and entertain their visitors.

And now to the last example. Disclaimer: This is purely a marketing/advertising objective perspective. The country mentioned in the title of this youtube video is my country’s enemy. Don’t take me to the jail. Thanks. Coca-Cola has never ceased to put a smile on our faces with their amazing campaigns, I guess I can do a whole post about these guys. Anyway, this is another example of RFID usage. Check it out here.

No more likes, think differently

Remember my “Milking Social Media” Post, whereas I said stop doing Facebook like campaigns, and think outside the box a little bit? Renault did that, even though it was a successful usage of RFID, but we need something fresh, more fun, more creative, and hey, more practical.

RFID is not a new technology, for example Wal-Mart here did this in 2004. But think for a second here, if they now integrate this with Social Media? Or a special application on the customers mobile smartphones. Something fun can come out of it! At the end of the month, you’ll know what you buy the most, or what brand you like the most, or which brands you buy  together, and then I donno, you win something? Okay am not the creative here.

In Lebanon

So let’s go to Virgin Megastore for example, or Bo Concept or whatever, and maybe we can RFID some item, post it on facebook, let’s say a couch, your husband is in another country, and then you get to ask them whether you should buy it or not? Or electronics, that are expensive here, you post it, and tell your brother who is in the US to check it out and buy it cheaper and bring it back next time he’s in Lebanon! Okay this doesn’t help Virgin 😛 but am sure you see how much room for creativity there is here.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post, it’s definitely not to give an ultimate answer (or else I would probably be a millionaire & no writing these posts), but it surely opens up the mind a bit on the different kind of technologies we can include for cool, unique, fun Social Media campaigns.