A Checkerboard on LSD: The QR Code

Have you seen them?  You know those goofy looking and aesthetically unpleasing QR codes (Quick Response codes) that are cropping up in the most unexpected places? Created by a Toyota subsidiary in the mid-1990s to track auto parts, QR codes were designed to deliver more information than the traditional barcode.

Here is my QR Code.

They kind of look like a checkerboard on LSD.   Anyone can get one. But, evidence has shown that the majority of us don’t know what the heck to do with them.

And what’s more, they appear in what would otherwise be a perfect piece of “eye candy” advertising.  I personally equate the appearance to a big zit on a super model’s face.

The whole point of a QR code is to make it easier for Smartphone users to interact with their surroundings by pointing the camera of the phone at the code, scanning it and then reviewing the information on their web browser. That is IF the proper app is installed in the phone.

In his recent blog, QR Codes Are the Roller-Skating Horses of Advertising, Alexis Madrigal says that “Comscore released data indicating that “14 million people, or 6.2% of mobile users, scanned QR codes in the month of June.” Forrester says that about 5 percent of Americans use QR codes. And there is widespread confusion about how precisely these things are supposed to work, despite years of marketers telling us about them, even among tech-friendly groups like college students.”

For now, my opinion given the low adoption rate of this technology and confusion surrounding it is that the QR code is novelty at the least and an eyesore at best.

Share with me a QR code you have recently encountered. Did you scan it? And if so, what appeared in your Smartphone browser that was unique to the marketing campaign?

How creative. And how much would my hairdresser charge me for that?

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4 thoughts on “A Checkerboard on LSD: The QR Code

  1. Pingback: Maps and QR Codes – “Look! They’re putting those on girls now!” « MapPrinter

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