The pages of the 2011 U.S. Bancorp Annual Report and U.S. Bancorp Corporate Citizenship Report will come alive this year for readers with smartphones. U.S. Bancorp is the first company in the United States to include digital watermarks in its reports.
U.S. Bancorp worked with Digimarc Corporation on the project and used its Digimarc Discover™ Online Services Portal to insert the digital watermarks – imperceptible codes that can be detected by the cameras in smartphones – into the reports to create engaging, print-to-mobile experiences for its readers.
Digimarc has worked with a variety of publishers and advertisers to employ digital watermarking to enhance news coverage, articles and advertisements, but this is the first time a publicly traded company has used Digimarc Discover to provide the public with mobile engagement in its printed annual reports.
“U.S. Bank is a company of innovators,” said Jenny Powell, chief marketing officer at U.S. Bancorp. “Customers have enjoyed the results of our innovative approach to new product development, particularly in the mobile space. It’s only natural that we incorporate that same innovative approach when telling our story to investors and key stakeholders.”
“The use of digital watermarks in corporate publications and marketing materials enables organizations to connect with their customers, employees and shareholders on entirely new level through traditional printed materials,” said Ed Knudson, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Digimarc Corporation. “We’re thrilled that U.S. Bancorp has embraced our digital watermarking technology as an engaging way to showcase a few of the company’s many highlights during the past year.”
To access the enhanced content, readers with an iPhone or Android device can download the free Digimarc Discover App from iTunes or Google Play. Photos in the reports that have a mobile device symbol are digitally watermarked, which means those photos will link to enhanced content when the user scans the image using the app. Examples of the types of enhanced content available in the reports include a new video about U.S. Bancorp, more information about recent innovations, products and services, a connection to natural disaster relief resources from the Red Cross and the winning rap video that earned two California student customers a second place finish in a national bank industry contest to promote saving money.
Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC) is a leading innovator and provider of enabling technologies that create digital identities for all forms of media and many everyday objects. The embedded digital IDs are imperceptible to humans, but not to computers, networks and devices like mobile phones, which can now use cameras and microphones as sensory inputs to “see, hear and understand” the world around them within the context of their environment. Digimarc has built an extensive intellectual property portfolio with patents in digital watermarking, content identification and management, media and object discovery to enable ubiquitous computing and related technologies. Digimarc develops solutions, licenses its intellectual property, and provides development services to business partners across a range of industries. For more information, visit www.digimarc.com.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $341 billion in assets as of March 31, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking offices in 25 states and 5,061 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.