Why do some advertisers like to waste people's time? Oh yeah, because they think they are being so clever.
The other day, I received a direct mail package from InfinityAuto.com, a car insurance company. At the top of the "personalized" letter (Dear Roger Marquis, not even Mr. Marquis), a QR Code was displayed on a detachable card (see image below). When I scanned the code, I was linked to a page that had some copy and a large "Call Now" button, as well as the company's 1-800 number and a URL address.
A couple of questions for the marketers at InfinityAuto:
1) Do you believe you are saving consumers time and/or steps by having them 1) locate a code reader app, 2) wait for the app to open, 3) scan the code, 4) read the landing page, 5) touch the "Call Now" button and 6) touch the "call" button on my phone, all in order for them to call your company and speak with someone about rates, as opposed to them typing the 1-800 number into their phone and making the call themselves? Why make consumers jump through a 2D hoop if it's not necessary?
2) Do you believe this is a real 2D/mobile experience and best use of the technology? Sadly, you probably do. Why not use the code to link a consumer directly to a product page, a quote form, a rate comparison chart or, at a minimum, the company's website? Anything that would resemble a real experience, and a worthwhile one at that.
Once again, a very lazy and uninspired use of 2D barcodes.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL