Empowering Packaging For Mobile Marketing

Catalent is offering a turnkey solution for brands targeting smart
phone users with interactive packaging.

Catalent Pharma Solutions (Somerset, NJ), through a licensing agreement with Digimarc Corp. (Beaverton, OR), is providing a mobile marketing solution with “Media Enhanced Packaging” for smart phone users.
Catalent is Digimarc’s exclusive partner for developing applications and markets for printed packaging, says Victor Dixon, VP and general manager, Catalent.
“Digimarc’s solution is a brand marketing and also can be used as a layer of a brand protection solution depending on how it is applied. We are initially taking a brand marketing solution to market for a variety of different applications focusing on the smart phone segment.
“We see huge growth and opportunity in mobile media, as demographics shift and smart phones continue to experience explosive growth. Virtually every kid ten years old and up has had a cell phone for years,” Dixon says.
“We are now at a point where there are enough installed smart phones with cameras to offer healthcare and consumer product marketers this new media for reaching consumers through their packaging,” he adds.
Catalent embeds Digimarc digital watermarks into existing art work for printing labels, cartons, and other printed components. The marks are imperceptible to the human eye and take up no additional space on the package. Product manufacturers can direct owners of web-enabled smart phones to connect with an unlimited amount of Internet-based rich media content.
When a phone camera is held over the package, the phone automatically recognizes the image, alerts the user, and recognizes the discreet watermark that signals the application to launch the internet payload. The user is then immediately connected to the desired content.
“The technology is sound and proven [having been] used for years in currency and secure documents. [Today’s smart phone technology] ensures the user will have a good Internet screen experience and not be disappointed when they click the button,” Dixon says.
Catalent has set up a center for supporting the development of the watermark technology solutions headed by Eric Caro, manager, new product development, Catalent Printed Components business. The center will offer turnkey solutions for companies looking to launch a product with a tied-in mobile media campaign.
“We are bringing application developers, data management, smart phones, and internet partners together in offering a bundled solution. For companies that may not have the resources, we can design the smart phone application and the web site,” Dixon says.
Catalent is finishing up an evaluation stage with customers in trial launches. In blind testing to evaluate the technology, watermarked packaging and literature is randomly tested in various applications, Dixon says.
Mobile Internet technology offers a host of options to marketers for delivering content to customers via audio, video, and print, as consumers take an active role in interacting with the product.
“Once the watermark is scanned, it’s up to the brand owner as to what experience they transport the user to. Brand owners can influence or persuade the consumer while reinforcing the brand. One big benefit is that there is no additional real estate on the package so you are driving out packaging costs,” Dixon says.
Promotions can be delivered as the consumer is considering a purchase in the store. A recognizable icon on a shelf talker can indicate that the box is web-enabled.
Users can download package inserts or applications for daily pill reminders by scanning OTC packaging or labeled vials. Apps might support communication with doctors, or data entry by clinical trial patients. The various end user applications are virtually boundless.
Adding a consumer authentication and manufacturer traceability dimension to serialized packaging by incorporating the watermark into a 2-D code is an ultimate solution. Investigators scan the package to access a secure web site for confirming a product’s status in the supply chain.
“This is a use of the technology that we are evaluating. The Digimarc solution incorporates nicely into a security solution. We believe this could be the thing that unites and marries many disparate technologies offered today on the market, bringing together brand marketing and brand protection in one elegant solution,” Dixon says. 

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