This advertisement, which features a QR Code, was recently spotted in The New York Times. Question: Who ran the ad? The United States Tennis Association (USTA), the 2011 U.S. Open, Ticketmaster or American Express? When the code is scanned, the reader of the ad is directed to a U.S. Open page on Ticketmaster's website, so are we left to believe that Ticketmaster is behind the campaign?
My guess is that the U.S. Open is behind the campaign, and when it came time to think about how and why a QR Code should be used it seems as though the marketing/creative team just phoned it in. It's either that, or the marketing/creative team purposely decided to target QR Code early adopters and felt that no explanation or instruction surrounding the code was needed. Also, because the scan resolve page only provides ticket purchase information, as opposed to all of the event, venue, player, etc. information found on the U.S. Open's website, it seems as though the organization was also targeting U.S. Open "early adopters" (i.e., people who are already knowledgeable of the players, the event, the schedule, the venue, etc, etc.), as well.
So, at the end of the day, who does this ad really serve? A select few, or the masses? And, some may ask, does it really matter?
While I have plenty of opinions to share on advertising in general, when it comes to the use of 2D, however, I would say that this ad does very little to offer a valuable and/or worthwhile customer experience. Yes, the ad serves the purpose of enabling consumers to purchase tickets, that is what the promotion is all about anyway but, what if consumers want/need to know more? Here come the proverbial hoops to jump through (i.e., the need to leave the Ticketmaster page and search out the U.S. Open's website), on a mobile device nonetheless, and that should not be.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL