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The QR Code is Dead…. Long Live the QR Code!

Scanbuy News

Very rarely has a mobile marketing trigger received so much bad press and unchained so much passion as the QR Code. Some find it ugly beyond repair, others think its usefulness is obsolete—a technology of the past. So called experts ponder philosophical questions such as “Why QR Codes suck so much?”, or take the unbiased view that QR Codes “instantly ruin almost anything they’re placed on.” Never in the history of cyber-bullying has a spotty square been so derided. And yet it refuses to commit suicide, and its users do not prescribe euthanasia.

In the past year alone, QR Codes have mushroomed all around the world on new product packages, flyers, hotel keys, letters, invoices, cups, melons (yes the fruit!), books, buildings, coupons, voting leaflets, and menus, to name a few. QR Codes are used by smart brands like Heinz, P&G, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Sea World, the US government, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and many more. Not to mention that QR Codes are also effectively utilized by tens of thousands of small and medium enterprises.

Granted, QR Code aesthetics can raise legitimate questions but it does not have to be that way. You can change the color of the code, add a logo, artistically design them, change the spots to circles, decrease the density, and even integrate them into an image. More importantly, are they so different from – Social ScanLife that brands happily place on marketing materials? Like these images, the 6j21vk_scanadmin_ScanLife_App at the end of the day is a call to action. The facebook suggests a share with your friends, the linkedin allows you to interact with your professional networks, and the googleplus-2 begs that you communicate with Google employees. Likewise, the 6j21vk_scanadmin_ScanLife_App signals a door, a channel, a key to a mobile experience behind the image. It entices the consumer with information, entertainment, coupons, or anything the imagination can dream up. Most importantly QR Codes work, and deliver on their promise when used properly, and well!

Scanbuy is the company that powered the mobile campaigns of the largest brands in the world using QR Codes— from Coca-Cola, Taco Bell and MTV, to Keurig and SeaWorld. We also supported the largest global events— from the Barcelona Football Club games to the Summer Olympics—and I’m proud to report that all were very successful.

ScanLife Keurig QR Code

There are a few simple rules to follow to make a QR Code campaign successful. It has a lot to do with the size of the code, placement, and most importantly purpose. It’s no secret that when a QR Code has a purpose aka “strong call to action” the consumer is inspired to engage. For example, getting a coupon, watching a video, winning something, or learning more about a product, stimulates exceptional engagement levels and results in successful campaigns.

All that said, I say with confidence that QR Codes are an effective mobile trigger, which in addition to being ubiquitous, are already widely recognizable by consumers around the world. We can also confirm that when consumers interact they are raising their hands for more information, which is a golden opportunity for brands to build a lasting impression and relationship with the consumer.

While some individuals shun QR Codes, QR Codes continue to be an international phenomena. You can find QR Codes at bus stations and airports all over the world. As displayed below, QR Codes have also found their way into WeChat, the Chinese social network with 500 million members, to engage friends and download content. Another social network Snapchat, rated one of the hottest social networks in the US, uses QR Codes to let users quickly add friends. Alibaba, arguably the hottest e-commerce company in the world, uses QR to fight anti-counterfeiting.

WeChat QR Code Snapchat QR Code  Alibaba Anti-Counterfeit QR Code

Yes indeed, the reports of the death of the QR have been greatly exaggerated.

Scanbuy invites you to reach us at or call us at (646) 688-5818 to discuss the use of QR Codes in your mobile strategy.

  • Filed under: Educational, Marketing, Trends

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    Mobile barcodes have changed the way we discover & share information from the world around us. We welcome your thoughts & ideas on how to make this technology matter - today and in the future.

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