How NOT to use QR Codes in Advertising!

Posted: 06/07/2011 in Advertising, QR Codes
Tags: , , ,

Our QRazy Boss has been jumping around the office today, spitting and swearing in absolute despair… all because of an ad that appeared in last night’s Evening Standard (London Free Paper).  He really is upset and just left the office, still swearing at the top of his voice and heard saying that was heading to the local bar to drown his sorrows..

We have therefore decided, as partial therapy for him, to name and shame the company involved and would beg them or their ad agency to get in touch, so we can at least give them some pointers for the future.

The ad in question is for IG Index, a London based Spread Betting business.  As you’ll see from the ad below, they have wisely decided to promote their mobile apps using what is supposed to be a QR Code.

Our initial thoughts when seeing the image in the bottom right hand corner of the ad, were positive.  An ad promoting a mobile app download with a cool looking QR Code to simplify the download process – great!  Well not quite…  This bastsardized version of a QR Code does NOT scan!

Someone has obviously managed to get the design to read, but not only didn’t it work for our QRazy Boss, none of us in the office have managed to get a successful scan from it either.  We used iPhones, Androids and even a Blackberry that was lurking in desk draw.

So, the questions are; why did IG Index change the design of the QR Code in the first place?  Why was the design not thoroughly tested across a range of phone types and readers?  And finally, does the person who signed this ad off still have a job?

Could it be that the client approved a piece of shiny artwork and did not consider how it might be reproduced on newspaper?  Surely, the agency in question would have thought of that…?

It seems almost trivial to report, that having typed the URL in your mobile browser using our sausage fingers, we were then directed to the app store URL for our handset – well done to the client’s backroom web team for a nice use of phone sniffing.

We’re hoping that after reading this post with the aid of a couple of pints, our esteemed leader will return in a better mood and get on with what has been so far, a fantastic week for the QRazystuff team!

We are always happy to give some free advice to clients wishing to use QR Codes in advertising.  To get in touch, scan this QR Code to give us a call.

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  1. Dean Collins says:

    Once again…..please always ”Overlay not embedded” when it comes to QR branding.

    Dean Collins

  2. interacter says:

    Works perfectly for me – straight to the app via a link… And that’s from the image you posted as well!
    (HTC Hero)

    • QRazystuff says:

      We should have added a caveat to this post… The QR Code design shown has been tested on a number of phone types and an assortment of readers, none of which managed to complete a successful scan within the time frame, we, as consumers, would feel acceptable.

      Maybe, we need to upgrade our phones, but then again so would the vast majority of the population… If you use QR Codes in press advertising you must cater for as many phone types and readers as possible and make the scanning process as easy as possible for your audience.


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