How Not to Display a Mobile Barcode

In their current print advertising campaign, Jakks Pacific, the parent company of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, shows us how not to display a QR Code. (This is the right-hand page of a two-page spread.)

First, the QR Code is much too small. Best practice states that QR Codes should be no smaller than one inch square. This code is only 3/8 of an inch square. Percentage chance of a consumer being able to scan the code: 0%.

Second, the company placed the code in the gutter of the magazine, which does not make it easy for a consumer to 1) find/spot the code and 2) scan the code. If the marketing/creative team knew they were producing a two-page ad, why place the code in such a location? Best practice puts the code on the side of the page opposite the gutter, in the upper or lower corners.

Third, there is absolutely no copy associated with the QR Code to instruct and/or describe. Here too, best practice would have some sort of verbiage informing and educating the consumer about the code and what to do with it, as well as, and at a minimum, providing some sort of call-to-action.

From an overall strategic and tactical perspective, it doesn't get much worse than this. If your company wants to make a go of using 2D technology, here's just not what to do.

Lastly, a wager...the company sees no return, benefit or value in featuring a QR Code, so they will no longer use them again in their advertising. Bottom line: A missed opportunity for Jakks and a missed opportunity for the consumer. What a shame. 

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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