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Quick Response (QR) code advertising refers to a type of technology that allows marketers and producers to put a code in strategic places where it can be reached by those who have smartphones or some sort of reader that is specifically meant for decoding QR codes. This type of technology is one that requires the interested parties to get close to the codes, which are usually placed where the target demographic can have access to them in order to use the appropriate devices to scan the bar codes, or to take a snapshot. As a marketing strategy, the adoption of QR code advertising offers some benefits in an increasingly tech-savvy age where everything seems to be moving along at a fast pace. On the other hand, the success of QR code advertising is also hampered by a number of factors that include the misapplication of this advertising process and the erroneous assumption by marketers that the majority of the population is even aware that this type of technology even exists.
QR code advertising can be found in a wide variety of places and is not limited to just one form of advertising medium. As such, QR codes may be found on books, wine bottle labels, clothes labels, billboards and even on adverts placed on moving vehicles. The code in this type of advertising is usually formatted in such a manner that once it has been scanned with the appropriate device, it will redirect the device scanning it to a Web site that is owned by the advertiser. For example, if a consumer scans the QR code on a bottle of wine using his or her smartphone, the person will most likely be directed to a Web site that is owned by the manufacturer of the wine, which would contain further information that the wine manufacturer would like to share with the consumer.
The main problem with QR code advertising is the assumption by such manufacturers that most members of the population own a smartphone or that they know what QR code advertising is all about. Adverts usually just display the codes without any further explanations as to their meanings or what the audience can do in order to access them, resulting in the fact that a lot of people do not have a clue as to the meaning of the codes and cannot relate. The advertisers may also make the mistake of placing codes in areas that are simply impossible for consumers to reach, such as on buses that are constantly on the move.