The Italian children clothes designer, Il Gufo, launched a new magazine ad campaign featuring a QR code, and I'll be darn to know how, if at all, this campaign succeeds. Here's why.
First, the ad is placed on the right-hand side of the magazine, which puts the QR code up against the spine of the book...not the best place to a) see the code when flipping through pages, and b) easily scan the code. If Il Gufo knew they were purchasing right-hand space, which I assume they did, why layout the ad this way? Second, there is no explanation for the QR code, and there are no instructions on how to read the code and download a reader app. Third, and I believe this is the most detrimental to the overall success of the ad, there is no call-to-action for the ad as a whole or tied to the barcode. If this is a pure brand image ad then I can understand no call-to-action, but then I really don't get image ads to begin with. All they do is interrupt, but that's for another discussion.
After studying this ad, I wonder how much time Il Gufo's marketing team or ad agency really put into this ad and, more importantly, what they expect to get out of it from an ROI perspective. Did they purposely place a barcode with no supportive copy just to alienate those who know about codes from those who don't? Or, did they assume that the U.S. market is as advanced as the European market is with respect to 2D code use? A lot of issues to resolve that I believe a basic course in International Marketing 101 might solve, but again it's hard to tell what the CMO or creative director were thinking.
Lastly, this is one of the first QR codes from ScanLife that I have seen, as well as one without the ScanLife brand name associated with it.