Saturday, September 21, 2013

QR codes: the good, the bad and the ugly

QR codes, though a potentially useful device in the marketer's armoury, have been undermined by overuse and downright bad execution. 

While they can be used effectively, it's generally easier to findbad and terrible examples of QR code marketing, normally the result of poor placement, or landing pages that just don't work on mobile. 
So, it's a mixed bag, as the examples below demonstrate...   


Good QR

Shop windows

This example, from Express, is a good example for two reasons. Firstly, showing QR codes in the shop window allows customers to access the range and see details, prices etc even when the store is closed. 
Express QR

Image credit: Dave Bovenschulte

Secondly, the QR code leads users to a mobile optimised site, with a promo code prominently displayed. 

And the ugly...

Across tube train tracks

This one is unscannable. Even if you are at a tube station with wi-fi, then only the foolhardy would attempt to scan it: 
Placement is vital with QR, and this totally fails. To be fair, the posters were probably part if a general campaign, and perhaps the rest were shown where it was possible to scan them without getting yourself killed.

Hotpants

This next one fails on many levels. Even if you set aside the sheer sexism, you're going to look like a pervert bending down to scan these codes: 

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