5.24.2011

Lending Tree uses QR Code

Without even scanning the QR Code is this advertisement from Lending Tree, I can tell this campaign will fail the 2D Barcode Litmus Test. Why? How? Look at the QR Code that the company and/or its agency placed in the advertisement. Sure the code is large enough to be scanned, but it is also much too dense. I tried about six different reader apps on this code and two worked, but only after some time trying (i.e., it took longer than 10 seconds).



So, what's going on? My hunch is that the company has placed a number of similar ads with codes and they want to track back each ad accordingly. Great that the company wants to track and measure response rates in this manner, but if consumers can't scan the code to begin with then there ain't going to be a whole lot to track and measure on the back end.


Although there are a number of other issues with this campaign which place it in the fail category, let's stay focused on the code itself. The URL that was used to generate this code is as follows: http://offers.lendingtree.com/splitter/splitter.ashx?id=print&promo=00326&loan_type=2&source=5609720&esourceid=5609720&800num=1-800-555-8733&AdType=2. This URL should have been put through a URL shortener and the shortened URL should then have been used to generate the final code. By simplifying the URL, the code will be less dense and thus easier for a code reader app (i.e., consumer) to scan. Why the company and/or its agency was not aware of this best practice I am uncertain, but the real question to ask is, how did the company test this code/ad? What was the methodology there, which indicated that this campaign was ready for launch?

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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