If you haven’t heard of QR codes (or Quick Response codes), chances are you’ve probably seen them around. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. They store encoded information and have become popular due to their fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. If you are a smart phone owner, you can download a free QR code app which allows you to scan a QR code and view the data encoded in it on your smart phone. If you’re a business you can easily create a QR code for free at sites like www.qrcode.kaywa.com. For more on what QR codes are click here.
On a recent trip to London QR codes seemed to be everywhere. Here are 3 examples I noted of effective use of QR codes by businesses to promote their brand or product.
1) Museum of London: I noticed QR codes subtly placed on several display cases. The viewer was invited to scan the code for access to a video relating to the display. The two videos I watched were fun and quirky and added another layer to the viewer’s experience by making you feel more involved in the exhibition, intrigued to have access to data not on display and by allowing the exhibiiton to be less cluttered by offering some of the data as an optional extra. As smart phones become more and more common maybe more information can be presented like this by museums and galleries.
3) First Great Western Train: My seat reservation ticket had a QR code on the back with the tempting offer of ‘win an Amazon kindle’ written beneath it. Upon scanning you were led to a web page where you had to enter your details to win. The speed and simplicity with which I could be taken to the competition entry page was much more effective than merely providing a web address on the ticket which would have meant manually typing it into my phone’s web browser.
3) Marie Claire Magazine: With a long journey ahead of me on the train I picked up a copy of Marie Claire to while away the hours. A QR code promoted two or three times within the magazine was linked to a free beauty video. This led to me downloading the iPhone app for the magazine so good call.
These examples represent three different ways of businesses using QR codes, but they were all very effective in engaging the viewer. The ease and simplicity with which a user can be taken from the real world to the virtual world is superior to leaving a web address. As a way of getting someone to enter a competition, view videos and data and access additional information it’s very effective.
By Marie Leverett, Social Media Manager. Check out our home page for more on social media management