Thermador's QR Code Goes Nowhere

As much as Thermador, the manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances, would like consumers to believe they are cooking with gas (sorry, couldn't help myself) in this recent QR Code-based full-page advertisement found in The New York Times, they aren't. 

When the QR Code is scanned, the resolve links to a page which reads, "This site is best viewed in the vertical orientation. Please rotate your device." Great that the company wants to ensure that readers of the advertisement can view the scan resolve content in the manner in which it was intended, but I rotated my phone to the vertical orientation several times and the screen never changed. I know auto-rotation works on my phone, as I am able to rotate and view other pages in both the horizontal and vertical planes without a problem but, for some reason, it does not work here. Because I was curious to see what the 2D/mobile experience would have been like, I plugged the QR Code's URL into my laptop and was brought to a mobile landing page, where information about the current campaign is provided, as well as a "find a dealer" search button.

Regardless of the misstep above, Thermador does a good job providing readers of the advertisement with very complete information and instructions about the QR Code itself. Next to the code, the copy reads, "Scan the QR Code to find out more about One-Two-Free or go to thermador.com. To download a free mobile bar code reader, go to scan.mobi."  Why other advertisers don't adhere to this best practice, I am not sure. 

In regard to the scan.mobi mobile barcode reader app, it's interesting to note that this is AT&T's app. To date, I have only seen two or three campaigns specifically make use of AT&T's code reader app, but it's still unclear as to whether or not Thermador made use of AT&T's platform to actually generate and manage the code.

All in all, a good effort made by Thermador, but it's all for naught if other people had just as much difficulty rotating the message landing page and getting to the main content page. Once again, an experience like this shows the importance and necessity of testing prior to launch.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL


  1. They May have fixed the orientation issue; it worked on my Nexus S.

    I did think the mobile-optimized site the QR code directed me to, was user friendly and looked good from a creative perspective...my only issue is the "find a dealer" link took me to Thermador's desktop website - That's where you lose me! Maneuvering on a desktop website via a mobile phone is very annoying.

    They did such a good job up until that point. If you start mobile-optimized, finish mobile- optimized.

  2. Joe:

    Thank you for the comment. I will try the code again and see if it works. Maybe it is an issue from one phone type to another. I like your comment, start mobile, finish mobile. Makes sense.

  3. Agree with Joe, it worked fine on my iPhone and I thought the user experience was pretty decent. you swipe the screen to see how much you can save by adding different appliance options. It's cool that they have a campaign that actually takes advantage of the touchscreen technology. But as Joe rightly points out, the dealer page is just a desktop website, which is not an optimal experience