QR codes’ label as marketing’s ‘new’ thing is phenomenally ironic, considering that the technology was invented by a Toyota subsidiary back in 1994 (I was a mere 12 years old at the time.)
However, the advent of smartphones has provided a valid tool for consumers to read these codes, and marketers are subsequently in a fervent clamour to place their communications / branding / information directly into people’s hands – why wouldn’t they be?
On a rare tube trip yesterday, I took the opportunity to take a look at the glut of panel ads that adorn every tube carriage and one for Heathrow caught my eye.
In the corner of the ad was a glinting QR code, with a clear call to action for consumers to scan the code and download information, access offers and continue their interaction with the brand.
In principle, this is a solid idea, utilising the latest technology and prolonging an ad’s effectiveness by continuing the consumer interaction within a smartphone.
There’s no reception or internet connectivity when you’re travelling underground, meaning that a huge percentage of your audience will not be able to perform the call-to-action asked by the advertisers.
Although very much in vogue, QR codes still need to offer discernible value to mobile phone users, tailored exclusively for the mobile space and placed in positions / touch points where consumers can act upon them.
For me, tube ads just don’t offer this widely enough.
Do you agree?