Has Sports Illustrated Got It Right This Time?

There is one thing you can say about Sports Illustrated and that is it is not afraid to try different technologies in its annual Swimsuit Edition. In 2010 they tried Jagtag, in 2011 they tried Microsoft Tag and this year they have moved from 2d barcodes to digital watermarks using Digimarc. The 2012 Swimsuit Edition out yesterday allows users of the Digimarc Discover app to view behind the scenes videos of the various swimsuit model’s photo shoots. If you are able to view mp4’s on the device you are using you can see an example here. Will Digimarc succeed where the others have failed, will they be SI’s choice for 2013? Or will SI be trying one of the new breed of image recognition apps?

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition use of technology over the last three years

6 thoughts on “Has Sports Illustrated Got It Right This Time?”

  1. Question: perhaps you can share how Si failed with JT and Microsoft 2d codes? My understanding is that both were successful by measures relevant at the time.

    Or are your tying failure to Si’s apparent need to change it up each year? It would seem that The magazine has landed on a theme that works (semi-nudity is always a crowd pleaser) but are simply testing new ways to activate it. It would also make sense given the high value of their swimsuit ASSets that they’d search for the least intrusive way to do so. Watermarking appears to be a technical evolution with obvious appeal for inventory of this nature…not necessarily an indictment of previous attempts.

  2. @Desmond Sure, when you use a new technology and it is successful you use it again. If it fails you abandon it and try something else. Of course some organizations will not admit it and yes, as you say they may even claim it was “….successful by measures relevant at the time”. Marketers can be quite good at obscuring the true meaning of an action in order to make it more palatable 🙂

  3. Still no reason to believe they failed. SI continues to use Msft 2d tagging in other issues. I think this is about a more palatable technology for the inventory they present. If I’m SI I want you looking at Brooklyn deckers fun bags – not some funky looking qr code. Watermarking is a natural progression from more invasive to less. The key question is whether people will be too enamored with the content to care.

  4. What is JagTag? What is Digimarc? Why are they using technologies that no one has heard of? They had potential with Microsoft Tag, but I would imagine they would have better success with QR Code. It’s just becoming ubiquitous these days.

  5. Perhaps SI gets paid by the technology provider to feature the technology on it’s cover. I can imagine that companies like DigiMarc, Jag, or MS would pay heavily to be featured on such a magazine with it’s tremendous reach.

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