Brandwashed Revisited

In August, I wrote an article about a magazine advertisement for Brandwashed, a new book by Martin Lindstrom, which featured a QR Code. As ineffective as I thought that QR Code-based campaign was, this new QR Code-based out-of-home campaign is just as ineffective. Here's why. 

First, as shown in the image below, the out-of-home billboard is located about 50 feet underground in the 23rd Street Station of the New York City Subway which, by the way, offers no Internet connection (see the last billboard). How does a marketing "expert" allow for this type of media placement? Sure the code can be saved in a code reader app and decoded later, but that's not the ideal user experience of 2D and inexperienced QR Code users may not know that code reader apps offer such functionality.   

Second, when I scanned the QR Code, the resolve links to a web page that has the following message, "No mobile version. Learn more about Vimeo Plus and mobile video versions." Beneath this message are links to either buy the book, view more info, view the video and read an excerpt. Great that I can link to other sources of information about the book and author, etc., but why would the "No mobile version." message be shown? Doesn't the marketing/creative/development team know that QR Code scan resolve content should be optimized for mobile? Beyond that, what message does it say about Mr. Lindstrom and/or his book and/or his publisher if this is the way he/they "market" to consumers.

It's been written time and time again on this blog, as well as elsewhere, that the user experience and mobile optimization is critical to the success of a 2D campaign. And, it doesn't hurt to make an offer or provide an incentive to purchase for those that take the time and make the effort to scan a code.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

1 comment:

  1. That is so bad, it's actually funny. So they posted the ad featuring a huge bar code in a place where most people can't get cell phone service. Then, when you do manage to get your phone to scan the code, it takes you to a site that isn't mobile compatible. Seriously?

    The subtitle on that book is "tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy." Obviously none of these tricks have rubbed off on the author or his marketing team.