QR codes on the rise – but still in its infancy when it comes to quality


According to a study by Nellymoser the use of QR codes is growing rapidly with a 439% growth from Q1 to Q4 in 2011. See this blogpost from Simplyzesty for more on this.

It seams like all new technologies has to go through the same learning curve like their predecessors. The first newspapers webpage’s looked just like the printed versions of the same page and so on. Eventually it evolves into products like The Daily or the beauty of Wired magazine on tablets.

What surprises me is that so many still tries to go the whole learning curve from scratch without any learning from others previous experiences. It’s understandable if you really are pushing the limits and are trying out new cutting edge technology. But if you still do basic mistakes using QR codes in January 2012 you should probably do something else (maybe change creative agency…).

Take the below example from Oslo Sportslager, a Norwegian Sports Shop where they was using QR codes in today’s Newspaper. I think we all agree that from a user’s point of view using technology in advertising should be hassle free. And when it comes to QR codes you have one chance. The user tries it and if it doesn’t work they just move on.

The problem with this ad is that when it was used in the newspaper it got a bit grainy and I tried to scan it with 8 different QR programs on my iPhone. None of them worked.

You can see a black and white (the original was in colour) scan of the actual newspaper add here:

On their webpage they had a higher resolution version of the ad. 4 of the programs managed to scan these– which is useless of course since then you already are on their webpage…

What made it even worse is the page you come to when you finally managed to scan the QR code. As shown below, it’s just a normal webpage (at least about the right topic) not optimized for mobile.

When Oslo Sportslager evaluates this campaign the obvious conclusion will probably be that the use of QR code didn’t work to well for them. And this conclusion would of course be totally wrong and based on a really poorly executed campaign.

How cool wouldn’t it be if they used a clearer QR code and scanning it would bring you to a video of people skiing and then to a mobile optimized webpage with products… (as a minimum)

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