Recently, the The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau launched this ad which features a QR Code. As nice as it is to see another industry make use of the technology, it's too bad that the marketers at the Bureau didn't really take the time to think the ad's strategy through from end to end.
When the QR Code is scanned, the reader of the ad is linked to the desktop version of the organization's website, which makes it very difficult for a person to read about the hotels, events, destinations, and most importantly, the travel specials, that the Bureau is, in effect, trying to promote. For a reader to have to pinch and flick through a site simply distracts from the overall experience, and I can only imagine that interest in finding a travel package would wane quickly.
Also, although the code is prominently displayed in the ad, there is no call-to-action or descriptive copy surrounding the code to entice a reader to scan, engage and learn more. Why not?
In reviewing this ad, I am just not impressed. There is nothing special about it. There is no exclusivity, no nothing. To know the readership of Departures, the magazine this was found in, I believe the marketing team could have come up with something a bit more creative, innovative, thought provoking, etc., than this.
For the amount of money spent on this full-page, four-color ad, I'd love to know the return and response rates. Not just on the QR Code, but the ad as a whole.
2D Bar Code Strategy Litmus Test: FAIL