Monday, November 10, 2008

QR Codes - Yay or Nay?

As a marketing/PR professional at an arts non-profit, I'm constantly looking for ways to tailor the MF message so it stands apart the vast information overload we are all bombarded with on a daily basis. This week, for the first time, the Mattress Factory will run an advertisement that features a QR (quick response) Code. An image of the ad (Pittsburgh City Paper - 11/12) is below:

MF Ad w/ QR Code

Basically, mobile phone users take a picture of the code with their QR reader-equipped mobile device. The data contained in the code (URL, SMS, etc.) is then read and the specified action is performed by the device. In our case, when someone grabs a photo of our QR Code, they will be directed to a MF URL in their phone's web browser.

A nice explanation of QR Codes from Wikipedia:
A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes. Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone's browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL.
I'm curious to see the traffic stats for this QR'd URL after this ad hits on Wednesday. Obviously, QR Codes do not enjoy the level of popularity here in the states that they currently do in other countries. I'm interested to hear your thoughts about whether or not you think QR Codes have the potential to take-off here in the U.S., where they're still largely an unexplored technology. And do you think it's important, especially for non-profits, to be at the leading edge of these emerging technologies? Feel free to email me, leave a comment here on the blog, or track me down on Twitter.

Posted by JEFFREY


Daria Brashear said...

I'd put it to the right of the "more info" in the box at the bottom, smaller.

Mattress Factory said...

We did drafts with a smaller code, but ran into some problems with it being unreadable when we got smaller than 1.5" x 1.5", which it is in the ad.