Quite Ready?

When will the UK really be ready for QR codes? I had a meeting today with an expert in mobile phone marketing tools and QR. This is three years on from my first meeting with someone about using barcodes (QR codes) scannable by mobile phones to download apps and content as part of wider marketing campaigns.

It works simply, your brand puts up posters advertising lets say their latest car model and using a smart phone you take a picture of a barcode on the ad and suddenly on your phone appears a promotional video of the car being test driven.  A great way and fun way to direct your audience to more detailed brand messaging online, give them content incentives to drive brand affinity and to encourage virality of content.

Picture 47

When QR is art

So why in 2009 am I sitting in a pretty similar meeting to one I sat in in 2006? Especially when 70% of Japanese people use QR codes, even putting them on gravestones to direct mourners to online obituary pages. Even many business cards there are nothing more than QR codes!

The answer maybe that where the US goes the UK follows and it has taken a long time for Amerca to get enthusiastic about QR codes- but now it seems they are, so maybe at last we will too. As more and more people are whipping iphones out their back pockets and smart phones (or is that just us media types?) the number of people able to make use of QR codes in the UK is growing. Certainly QR codes are used in the UK, such as in a Sun newpaper campaign fronted by Kelly Brook and last year Pepsi started to print QR codes on over 400 million UK bottles and cans of Pepsi Max. So I don’t think I will be having the same meeting in 2013 or even 2011 about the potential of adopting QR codes into campaigns, because the UK now has the phones and the example of the US to start QRs tipping into the mainstream of marketing.

You can create your own QR code at http://www.winksite.com and if you want to go really creative with you can get your QR code designed into your furniture at http://www.fluid-forms.com/.  Otherwise you can always get always get a QR tatoo…

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