Ermenegildo Zegna, the world's leading brand in luxury menswear, is celebrating its 100th year in business and, to promote this milestone, the company has recently launched a new advertising campaign. One of their ads ran in today's The New York Times, and located in the upper right hand corner of the full-page, black and white ad is a QR code. With not a lot of copy or other graphics in the ad to distract the reader, the QR code prominently stands out. Next to the code, running vertically, is descriptive copy informing the reader that they can celebrate Zegna's 100 years by scanning the QR code with their smartphone. Once the code is scanned, the reader is linked to a special video, which talks about the company's centennial and was produced just for those individuals who scan the QR code.
Zegna does a fine job positioning the QR code in the ad and explaining what a person is to do with the code, but what the company does not do well is communicate with those individuals who 1) may not have a smartphone, and 2) may have a smartphone, but not scanning software. At first glance, it seems as though Zegna has chosen not to communicate with these potential customers, but in reality they do. In the upper left hand corner of the ad, printed in minuscule-sized text running vertically, is the address for the website that the company created to specifically celebrate the centennial (zegnacentennial.com). My question to the ad's designer is, why keep the centennial web address so hidden? It literally took me several minutes to find the address.
Although this is Zegna's first use of QR codes, something tells me that the company, as well as others in the luxury brand space, will be making greater use of 2D barcodes in future promotional campaigns.