Valiant Entertainment, the character-based publishing and licensing company, recently announced the placement of a QR Code on the front cover of its upcoming X-O Manowar comic book, which is scheduled to be released in May.
When the reader of the comic book scans the QR Code, he/she is linked to a 47-second You Tube video, which depicts the mouth of X-O Manowar talking about the upcoming story. Once the video starts to play, the reader is supposed to hold their smartphone over the highlighted area on the comic book's front cover, so it appears as though X-O Manowar is actually speaking.
Is this an original use of QR Codes? Not really, as this technique has been seen before, but I'll tell you what it is, it's first mover advantage. Valiant claims this to be the first use of QR Codes, in this manner, within the comic book industry and, if that's true, then more power to them and the media attention they can garner from it.
From a public relations perspective, being a 2D technology first mover or creating a truly innovative 2D campaign can do wonders for an advertiser with respect to generating media attention (and subsequently consumer attention) and, I believe, this is often overlooked from a strategic perspective when advertisers consider using 2D technology. If there is a story leverage it.
Back to the scan resolve content for a moment. While I know what the code has been set up to do, I wonder why the company stops there. At the end of the video, there are no links to share content, learn more about the comic book's main character(s), where to purchase, etc., etc. Why not enrich the brand and/or character interaction that much more?
Could the company offer more in the way of value and benefit via the QR Code, sure, but I believe the PR angle wins the day.
2D Barcode Litmus Test: PASS