Thursday, 8 November 2012

The best and worst examples of QR codes

QR codes have become a great marketing tool for an ecommerce store in allowing them to provide people on the go with various information about their business as well as the products and services they have available. 

In case you are unfamiliar what QR codes exactly are, they are a matrix barcode which people can scan using QR scanner applications on their smartphone. Once they have scanned the code, they are then given some information either through a SMS message or a redirection to a specific website.

The benefit of this marketing tool is that not only does it reduce the amount of marketing space you need, the customer doesn't have to spend time standing around reading large amounts of text, they can simply use the scanner and instantly get all the information sent to their phone.

In an attempt to increase their brand awareness, some business have taken to using QR codes with some performing well and others being just down right stupid. We at eSellution have looked at some of the most memorable QR campaigns for both the right and wrong reasons.

Subway fail

A QR code that clearly wasn't thought about it was placed in this underground station. In order for the a user to scan the QR code and receive the added information, they first had to risk life and death by getting across busy train tracks in order to get into a position where they are able to scan the code. 

Tesco virtual shopping

In order to try and improve their sales within Korea, Tesco decided to place a virtual shopping experience into various subway and train stations. Users could then view a number of products that the store offers and then scan the QR code of the various products they are interested in. Once the code for the product has been scanned, the product will then appear in their online shopping basket, allowing the user to purchase these scanned goods online. This idea has been repeated in a number of stations across the world. 

Taking QR codes to the skies

A company decided that the best way to make users aware of their business was to create a huge QR code, tie it to the back of a plane and have it flown thousands of feet in the air. While this was eye catching in the sense that people could see it in the sky, the fact that it was so high  up meant that it was absolutely impossible for anyone to scan the code on their smartphones.

Footballers using their heads

Online gambling site Betfair, approached non-league club Bromley FC before their FA cup clash with Leyton Orient and proposed the idea of the players having QR codes shaved into the back of their heads. After the club agreed, stylists spent a number of hours precisely shaving QR codes into the back of players heads. Surprising enough, when the work had been completed and the back of their heads scanned with a QR code scanner, it worked like a charm with the application redirecting the user to the Betfair online site. 

The QR scanner loop

In order to teach people how to use a QR code scanner correctly, a company decided to create a QR code for users to scan in order to download a free QR code scanner. The ironic aspect of this is that to learn how to use a QR scanner and download a free application, the user must already know how to use a QR scanner and already have a QR scanner on their phone in order to scan the QR code and get another QR scanner for free. Yet another example of a pointless QR code.

Coca Cola Euro 2012

During the Euro 2012 competition, Coca Cola decided to place QR codes on all of their cans which users could scan to be redirected to their "SmileWorld" application where they would be able to download games, enter competitions and view exclusive videos produced by the company. While this isn't the most exciting or innovative QR code in the list, it's an example of how a QR code can be simple but effective. This achieved great levels success and drastically increased the traffic numbers and interaction for the SmileWorld site.

A great idea for traffic accidents

As roads have a continual amount of traffic throughout the day as countless people going to and from work every day, a company decided that they would try and take advantage of this traffic by placing a QR code for people to see on a traffic sign. While this would result in many people becoming aware of the QR code, having countless drivers attempt to pull out their smartphones and scan a QR code, when they should be concentrating on the busy traffic ahead of them, is most likely going to result in more accidents than scans. The code was quickly removed due to the safety risk it caused.

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