Ride Snowboards uses Microsoft Tag

Ride Snowboards has launched a two-page magazine advertisement (below is just the left-hand page), which features a Microsoft Tag .

Admittedly, I may be a bit older than the company's target demographic, but I do not believe a younger person could easily read the descriptive text that accompanies the Tag (the three microscopic lines of text beneath the code which, I believe, reads, "Snap the barcode with your smartphone to access exclusive Ride content). Maybe Ride assumes that its target audience is already familiar with Tags, or 2D codes in general, and there is no need to waste real estate to make the descriptive text larger, but I hardly believe the need for space is an issue with this ad. Also, why display the Tag in the upper left hand corner of the left-hand page? I do not believe this is the focal point of a two-page magazine spread.

Ride Microsoft Tag

More important than the above, what is the call to action for this ad? Exclusive Ride content? If that's the case, 1) why bury it in smaller-than-footnote-sized type and 2) is "exclusive content" really enough for a non-customer to take notice of the product or company and act on it? I am of the mind that something more or truly different needs to be offered.

As stated in previous posts, 2D codes are just a gateway. If an objective of advertising is to attract consumers and move them further along the purchase decision process then the strategy and creative need to go much further than the code itself.


  1. As we are a generation who spends more time looking at online pages than physical world ads, it's important to remember all the studies that have been done about how people "read" (they don't) or visually "scan" material.

    The symptom of "banner blindness" has been proven and is real (people don't "see" banner ads that are right in front of them).

    Why? Over saturation and the psychological recognition that there is no value in looking at them.

    Based on the tracking that this blog does, I'd say that right now, QR-Blindness is already setting in for early-adopters. Instead of telling their friends and family how wonderful this is, they've done a few scans and are "over it" already.

    Maybe not. But, I'd worry about it if I were spending real money on a campaign.

    The exception has been Microsoft Tag campaigns, which have appeared to be better coordinated and have offered actual value as an extension of the print experience.

    Someone needs to do a really rocking campaign with QR, in the same way the first "viral videos" sent YouTube into the stratosphere in terms of viewership.

    Minimally, people need to stop saturating the market with meaningless campaigns and starting QR-blindness, since there's no cure for it.

  2. Anonymous: Very well said. I could not agree with you more.