First and foremost, the QR Code displayed in the advertisement is so small that it is nearly impossible to scan. Using two of the better code readers on the market (NeoReader and i-nigma), it took me about a minute using each reader separately to scan the code. With so much advertising real estate available (Gotham is a over-sized magazine), why print the code so small? Was the creative team too concerned that a larger code would distract from the overall design? At a minimum, a QR Code should be 0.75 to 1.0 inches square to ensure successful scans.
After scanning the code, I was brought to a mobile website and, once there, tried to play the video, but the video stopped playing only after a few seconds. Not optimized for mobile viewing is my assumption. Because the company also displayed a URL address next to the code, which I consider a best practice, I was able to view the entire video on my laptop. The video is 30 seconds long, but really offers nothing in the way of value or benefit for the viewer. When the video finishes, I am left staring at a blank screen. Why? Why do companies do this time and time again? If the hope is that a viewer is going to like what they see, why not enable them to 'like' or 'share' the content with people in their social network(s)? Also, why not motivate or provide incentive for the viewer to move further down the purchase path (i.e., visit a retail store or shop on-line)?
The mobile website also offers the ability to download the company's 'Get Your Style At The Speed Of Life!' mobile app. What this app is I have no idea, as no additional information is provided and I did not feel like downloading the app just to find out. There is plenty of room on the site to write some promotional copy, so why not.
What I also don't fully understand about the mobile website is the line "Text* GO to EXPRES (397737) to receive Express mobile updates! Standard messaging & data rates may apply. Texting GO to EXPRES (397737) also opts you in to receive on going EXPTXT mobile alerts (up to 6/month)." I admit, I do not do a lot of texting and maybe I am missing something here, but does Express assume that consumers are just going to remember the texting instructions while they are switching functions on their mobile device (i.e., going from the Internet browser function to the phone or text function), if, in fact, they choose to text at that very moment in time? What if they don't then, how is a consumer to easily retrieve the instructions?
As a parting thought, I wonder how a company like Express would articulate the strategy, objectives and reasons for conducting a 2D barcode campaign in the first place.
Lastly, I don't see this campaign passing the 2D Barcode Litmus test anytime soon. And, speaking of the litmus test, what I plan to do in future 2D campaign reviews is to end the review with a 'pass' or 'fail' as it relates to the test, and then keep a running total of the results for the fun of it (see scoreboard in right hand column).
2D Barcode Litmus Test: Fail