This great QR code job posting ad from a tattoo studio in Turkey faces budding applicants with the task of proving they are good enough by filling in the QR code on the ad in order to scan it properly to receive the actual job application form by email. After seeing the ad last week, it struck me how rare good examples of effective QR codes in a marketing capacity actually are.
Sure, QR codes can be effective in a functional sense, as tickets for events or letting users easily access important product information for example, but they are rarely used in an inspiring or creative way to make an impact. Here are a few more examples that buck the trend.
This Guinness ‘product-activated QR code’ from last year is only scanable when the pint is full and let’s drinkers download coupons, tweet about their pint and check-in with Foursquare.
This example from Calvin Klein might have less of an impact today, but back in 2010 when QR codes first started popping up, it was a bit of a bold idea. For one week only, they replaced several of their billboards in New York and LA with a giant QR code allowing users to view exclusive material on their phones which they could then share with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Regardless of the fact that most users back in 2010 didn’t have smartphones, the giant QR codes were a striking sight and succeeded at generating a buzz and getting people talking about the brand.
In an consumer interaction context, Michael Hemsworth advises companies who want to enhance a QR code campaign to give users a reason to scan, redirect to mobile friendly content and keep them scanning. This use of QR codes by Tesco’s brand of supermarkets in South Korea has actually proven effective at increasing sales by letting users order groceries on their smartphone while they wait for their train home.