The Quick Response Code, better known as the QR code, has come a long way since it's start in 1994 as a tool for the automotive industry. This two-dimensional barcode was originally created for tracking vehicle parts and was ideal because it could hold a lot of information and could be read at high speeds (source).
|Share this Post||Tweet|
A basic QR code is not limited to, but generally made up of black and white square clusters, almost like a very pixelated looking vector image. It looks like a funky blob to me, but apparently it can do quite a few nifty tricks!
The Many Creative Uses of QR Codes
Because the creation of the smartphone seems to provide us with endless possibilities, it only seems natural that QR codes have become prevalent everywhere and used on everything. I've seen them used most commonly in magazine ads, mainly for website URLs or store locations. Upon scanning the QR code with my iPhone it takes me to Google Maps showing me their location nearest to me.
If you pay attention they are everywhere! My husband has a Triathlon event t-shirt with one incorporated in to the screen print on the back. My children's tylenol has the tiniest version of one on the side that was unable to scan successfully. I had hoped it would link me to the dosage information URL on the brand's website, but maybe it was meant for the manufacturer, not the consumer. It would be a great way to give consumers up-to-date information.
- Screenprint - (source)
Colorful screen printed artwork of QR codes by Steven Rojas (August 2011) where he produced a limited edition series to encourage interaction between the viewer and the work of art. When the code on the print is scanned with a QR reader (on your smartphone), it will lead you to one of a three piece invitation for Internet Week. This was a perfect use for the QR code simply because you could almost guarantee that the audience looking and using the art would most likely own camera smartphones (considering the event they were being summoned to).
-Artistic - (source)
In February of this year, Mashable published a guest post by ShareSquare CEO, Matthias Galica on using QR Codes for event marketing. It really covers a nice collection of ways you can pump up and promote different types of events.
Put your QR code on every single piece of promotional material you have. This goes for every marketer. Posters, flyers, stickers, merchandise tags, press kits, temporary tattoos; The more unusual the better. Any promotion without one is a missed opportunity at major events, especially tech-forward gatherings like SXSW. - Matthias
-Magazine + Product Ads - Notice the placement, size and the little helper-graphic of a cell phone on these products (above)
QR codes can do some amazing things! Almost anything it seems from creating pre-populated tweets or Facebook posts, to asking people to "LIKE" your company's Facebook page, showing hidden scenes from a movie event, offering free tickets, providing cool freebie downloads. Overall a great article with lots of tips on using QR codes for events and well, for advertising your brand in general.
- Event / Wine Neck Labels - (source)
Great related articles with some good idea starters:
- fastcompany (June 2011): Business Card-Encoded Wristbands...
- marketwire (September 2011): Precision Dynamics Introduces New QR Code Wristbands
- marketingbeep (May 2011): QR Codes 101: Applications in Print Marketing
- sfreeo (October 2009): What does barcode mean in the Future and it's relationship to SEO?
- customqrcodes (July 2011): QR Code Art: Making Your Marketing More Interesting
- chuk*num (August 2011): Fashion: QR Codes & Fashion Icons
- Billboard / Poster - Notice the tiny extra image between the blocks of black...
In a world that is becoming more mobile, attention spans are decreasing, and information is expected to be at our fingertips, QR Codes and Traditional Barcodes are potentially the wave of the future. I mean just imagine a takeout menu where each item is listed next to a corresponding QR Code and you can simply place your order by taking a picture with your phone, wouldn’t that be convenient? Looking for show times of the new Summer Blockbuster, wouldn’t it be nice to just capture a QR Code on the poster? - sfreeo article
- Real Estate Advertisement -
It's amazing what sort of QR code designs have come about throughout the years. Japan has been using QR codes far longer than the United States and some amazing artwork has sprung up from everywhere since its burst of popularity in 2011.
- Advertising -
Will QR codes simply become known as a big fad of 2011 or will it continue to become even more creative and useful? Will it be used more heavily than copy in advertisements - pushing the consumer to engage in the ad to find out more? Where do you suppose it'll go in 2012?