In the current issue of Gotham magazine, Lacoste is running an ad which features a QR Code (the code is in the lower left-hand corner of the ad, which got cut off in the picture below, sorry).
The first time I scanned the QR Code, I was brought to a page which displayed a rotating mobile phone icon on the screen. It's clear that the icon was instructing me to rotate my phone, so I can view the scan resolve content in its correct orientation but, while I made repeated attempts to do just that, nothing happened. The icon remained on the screen and the resolve went no further. Frustrating to say the least. I exited the page and scanned the code again, and again, and again, and finally I was able to get through to the main page of content. On this page, which was a mobile page, there were five items listed (Kasia, Kati, The Fashion Show, The Collection, The Accessories). When each of the first three items were chosen, I was linked to a video. The length and content of the videos I am unsure of, as my patience and interest at this point was starting to wear thin. When the last two items were selected, I was linked to product pages, which offered pictures and minimal descriptive content.
As annoying and meaningless as the scan resolve experience had been so far, I opted to stick with it, just to see what else, if anything, the campaign offered.
In the upper left-hand corner of the main page, there was an little square icon, which had three horizontal lines running across it. Not really knowing if this was a button to touch and activate or not, I decided to touch it and, much to my surprise, a menu list appeared. On the menu were a number of product categories to choose from, as well as an online shop and links to socially share the experience. While it was great to see that there was a lot more to the site, by now I grew tired of the experience and I just wanted to exit, because navigating from one page back to another was extremely frustrating. (Maybe it was the connection?)
So, what can we take away from this experience? First, there is no call-to-action related with the QR Code itself, so why should a consumer care to scan it? Second, there is no need to instruct consumers to rotate their phones, and have this step interfere with a consumer linking directly with the scan resolve content. Third, the navigation of the mobile site leaves a lot to be desired, as I literally had to hunt for a detailed listing of products, the online shop, etc. Fourth, because the code/brand/product/interactive experience is nothing to write home about, the site could have all of the social share links it wants, but chances are they will hardly be used and taken advantage of.
Reviewing a campaign like this makes me wonder if the marketing team really understands the concept, and importance, of the user experience. Yes, it so happens there's a lot offered on the company's mobile site, but a consumer should not have to hunt and peck through the site to see what activates and what doesn't, or to see what link leads to what content. Mobile marketing, as with other forms of marketing, needs to be frictionless from end to end. Normally, I would pass a campaign on the Litmus Test score card if it had all of the content that this campaign had but, in this instance, I believe user experience trumps content.
Lastly, if a company chooses to customize a QR Code they should do so in a meaningful way. It wasn't until I enlarged the picture of the code, did I then realize that Lacoste placed their alligator logo at the bottom of it, and the initials "UC" to tie in with the unconventional chic tag line found in the ad.
2D Bar Code Litmus Test: FAIL