This QR Code-based billboard from Banana Republic was spotted on the side of a New York City phone booth (remember when it really was a booth, but I digress).
The copy that accompanies the QR Code consists of a call to action, which reads, "Scan here to launch our short film "Journey in Style," and instructions on where and how to download a code reader app. When the code is scanned, the reader of the billboard is linked to a 30-second brand image You Tube video, which should be titled, "Journey to Boredom." Sorry folks, but how many codes might a consumer have to scan in order to find a video that offers any real meaning and/or value? Besides that, the code and the video link to absolutely nothing.
There are is no control version being tested against, there are hardly any variables to be tested, etc., etc. I'm not a marketing research expert, and I don't play one on television, but I do know enough to say that a campaign of this kind does not an experiment make. So, what's really happening here?
In my mind, it seems as though companies are plugging a code into an ad, linking it to some pre-existing content and calling it a day. No one gets hurt. So, I ask the question again, what's going on here? Why not come out with guns blazing and give your existing and/or prospective customers a 2D-based campaign that is truly an experience to behold and be a part of and, more importantly, to share with others? After all, isn't the pinnacle of marketing success a referral in some shape or form? When word spreads about a product or service all on its own? Besides, wouldn't an all-out campaign be a better basis by which to experiment and test the technology?
By now, I believe you get my point. Making use of 2D, even on an experimental basis, needs to be done the right way, where best practices (2D barcode and market research) need to be adhered to. Let's stop being so lazy, and let's not bring the money factor into it either, as that argument gets tiresome.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL