QR Codes

QR codes, also known as Quick Response codes, are starting to pick up momentum and are becoming very popular in the modern world that is becoming increasingly smartphone based. This is a statistical fact that has made marketers gleam with excitement at the imaginative ideas and promotions that are now possible. Even so, there isn’t a single person out there who wants to unlock their phone to find a flood of texts and other alerts from barcodes they have recently scanned.

Luckily, the companies that have successfully used QR codes have found creative and unique methods not only to get consumers to actually scan their code in the first place, but to simultaneously enhance their brand awareness and popularity in the process.  Now let’s take a look at a few of the most outstanding and notable ones – who knows, maybe it will even give you a few cool ideas and inspire you to buy a barcode!

First, who are the people using QR Codes?

Nearly half of all people who use smartphones have used their phones in one way or another while shopping in retail stores – close to 40% of these people are said to be comparing the opposition’s prices. While statistics for who the users are that are scanning these QR codes are, and the kind of mobile device they are using, seem to be varied. The common trend, however, seems to be that most data puts iPhone users at the front, with the age variation of users being between 25 to 34.  Japan and the United States at the moment are way ahead of all other countries in terms of how many QR codes are scanned and make up close to 60% of all scanned codes, with countries like Canada and the United Kingdom coming in third and fourth place, but still lagging behind by dozens of percentage points.

In spite of all of this, the percentage of QR code creation showed a tremendous 1,253% growth in the year 2011, with two million of these codes being created in just a few months. Most of the QR codes that are created today are used to direct users to a website address, but they can also be used to store banking card details, information from other applications like Google Maps and even video links to sites like YouTube.

1. Greeting cards combined with mixtapes:

The idea is to combine greeting cards with playlists. This idea was created by a United Kingdom based agency, the idea being that if the user has a music app like Spotify, they can scan a barcode on a greeting card that will immediately begin the playlist contained therein. Through the QR code, any and every interest can be accommodated. Playlists for anything from music for cooking to love songs can be created.

2. Share your life:

A bit more of a morbid use for QR codes, but nevertheless useful and interesting! Codes of this kind are being used at funerals for attendees to check in, following which the family can be notified as to who is in attendance. Codes in this way are being referred to as “Remembrance Codes”, and an interesting proposition is being made to add codes such as this onto tomb stones, so that once scanned, the life story of the deceased can be accessed!

3. Advertisements for applications:

Early adopters of this trend are already starting to use them to make their message loud and clear through the use of this code, even though it is a relatively new idea. Apps like powerful and highly popular Instagram and the game Angry Birds have both used QR codes as eye catching adverts already. They have used these to take you directly to a link to download the apps in a way that is both self-explanatory as well as eye-catching and creative.

4. Make boring places more interesting:

Have a think, when is the last time you visited the museum or planetarium for example? I am almost sure that your answer will probably be something along the lines of on a school outing or only old people still go to places like that. Fair enough, but boy do I have a surprise for you! A museum in Poland has recently added an entirely new aspect to their paintings, transforming each one of them into their own individual stories. There are many different storylines that have been created, but to name a few: war, trickery, insanity and conspiracy. This project, called the “Secrets Behind the Paintings”, works through placing a QR code on each painting, which can then be scanned and the story is told virtually by the ‘painter’ themselves.

5. Personalized messages attached to gifts:

Regardless of the fact that we have left the wonderous festive season behind us, we cannot help but admire the innovative ways that marketers have used to draw shoppers in by using QR codes. This past Christmas, JC Penny used QR codes in the most interesting ways when they released what they called ‘Santa Tags’, which allowed to gift giver the opportunity to record a custom-made message that could be played by the receiver when they receive their gift.

We are looking forward to the new and interesting ways in which QR codes will be incorporated into our everyday lives, I am sure they will be in ways we could never imagine.

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