3.20.2011

Real Simple uses QR Code

In the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, the publisher has placed a full-page advertisement, which promotes the magazine's newest iPhone, iPad or Android app.

When the code is scanned, it auto-detects which store/market the reader of the ad needs to go to in order to download the app, which makes perfect sense. What's also nice about the ad is that it gives clear instructions on how to scan the QR Code, as well as a URL address if the reader does not have a smartphone or prefers to enter the address into a browser. If the URL address were any longer, I would comment that some alternative should be used, but for all intents and purposes it's not all that long.

While this promotion is pretty straightforward, I do have one hang up with it. It's not until the reader of the ad gets to the scan resolve does he/she discover the cost ($4.99) of the app. For some, this expense might be a non-issue, but for others it may be, so why lead them down a garden path believing the app is free.

Beyond the campaign itself, it would be interesting if Real Simple conducted a couple of A/B tests with this ad. For example, Version A was unchanged and Version B listed the price of the app in the ad. Or, Version A was unchanged and Version B enabled the reader of the ad to download the app just by scanning the QR Code. As interesting as it may be, I am most certain testing is way off the radar just as it is with most other companies and campaigns.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: PASS

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