QR Code used by Space Adventures

Space Adventures, the world’s premier private space exploration company and the only company currently providing opportunities for actual private spaceflight and space tourism today, recently launched (no pun intended) a campaign featuring a QR code. Scan the code and it resolves to a video about the company's latest offering, a  flight to circumnavigate the moon.

Space Adventures QR Code
The ad is nicely designed from a creative perspective, but it  falls short with respect to the QR code. The copy next to the code instructs readers to use the QR reader on their smart phone to scan the code, but it does not tell people where or how to download a QR reader app in the first place. Not the first time that we have seen a company make this mistake.

Also, with respect to the video that the code links to, it explains the flight or journey well enough, but there is no real call to action or sense of urgency. After watching the video, I was left with a feeling of okay, now what? Viewers have no idea of when the journey is scheduled for but, if they did, it might make them respond sooner than later. Also, if Space Adventures was willing to provide viewers with some sort of discount or value-add (who only knows what a journey like this costs) if they responded by a certain date this too might get them to respond sooner, if at all. Or, at least mention that space on the flight is limited to the first 2,3,4, etc. people who qualify. Thinking in these terms makes me wonder what's the real objective of this ad and the use or need for the code.

At least the company provides readers with a URL address should they not have a smart phone or are able to scan the code correctly. This is a 2D best practice worth noting.


  1. Roger,
    I enjoy your critiques of 2D code implementation but I have to disagree with your assessment of this campaign. Some ads are meant to increase awareness and to educate and this one does a great job of both of these objectives. There is a call to action, albeit not a spoken one, to visit their website to learn more about private space travel. This is not an impulse buy. I hardly think a coupon would be appropriate. Any potential client would need to learn more about the journey and the video and web site are the perfect vehicles.Kudos to Space Adventures for this mobile hook.

  2. Tom: Thank you for the compliment and the comment. You are right, this is not an impulse buy and a discount coupon is not going to make a world of difference to the type of person that would actually purchase the space flight. Also, I see your point about an unspoken call to action. Perhaps I wrote a bit too hastily on this one, but I do stick to the question of what's the real objective for the ad overall, as well as the code.

  3. Roger -- Perhaps a social networking option would have been wise on this one. If the video was worth watching, then the awareness-raising component could have been to share it on YouTube, et al. A mobile-optimized landing page might also have worked. At the very least, it should have given the user a way to send the Space Adventures' main URL to the user's regular email account, so they could easily browse it on their PC (and collect an email address in the bargain).

  4. John: Thank you for commenting. I agree, Space Adventures should have been interested in getting information from those who watched the video, but, as I have asked, what are the overall objectives for this campaign. Build recognition, build a list, etc.? It makes little sense for a company to plan and execute a campaign and not get something in return...how then do you measure ROI?

  5. I am in awe about how you are so connected to what is happening with 2d codes. How do you get so much information?

  6. Tom: Thank you for the compliment. Would welcome a conversation off line if you like. You can email me at: roger@2dbarcodestrategy.com.