This is what I call a great way to get your QR Codes scanned, give people something to enjoy immediately when they have a use for it. The beauty of this campaign is the immediate incentive to scan.
In November 2010, US based FirstBank installed a number of signs at Denver International Airport with integrated QR codes. The general public were invited to take a photo of the codes with their smartphones, after which free goodies (such as ebooks, crosswords and sudoku puzzles) would be unlocked. There are 12 different ebooks available for download and FirstBank estimates that 7,000 books and puzzles will be downloaded throughout the five-month campaign.
It’s like the QR Code resume or that creepy QR Code project that makes the dead talk but with a tattoo. Now who’ll be the first to do NFC implants to do something similar, that could get you some extra followers on Twitter now wouldn’t it.
As you can see, when the tattoo is scanned the phone loads a Youtube video that animates the tattoo when the phone is properly aligned. This looks simpler that it actually is as there’s some careful scaling and measuring work that needs to be done in order to do this properly.
If you want to make your own and could use some advice? Be sure to check out my presentation on QR Code Mashups. Get them printed at moo.com just like I did. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
The small QR Code on the back is a link to jumpscan.com/heymans a mobile profile website that looks good on a mobile phone. You can find a bunch of personal info about me there and you can download a vCard (v3.0) too.
The big QR Code is a v2.0 vCard; it contains all my essential contact information but doesn’t include a picture nor my online resources but it works without an internet connection, very handy for people who don’t have a data plan yet.
For those of you who are curious, that pixel guy was created by Very Important Pixels and I ordered the regular business card size with a business card holder at moo.com using their custom design upload tool.
Stay tuned, I’m working on business card Photoshop templates specifically for QR Code business cards and a tutorial on how to customize them. If you don’t want to miss out on those you should subscribe to the newsletter.
This is the most comprehensive QR Code infographic I’ve come across up to now. It’s a great barcode marketing breakdown and deals with picking the right barcode marketing solution, elaborate growth statistics and real world brand use.
As usual scroll down to the bottom for my summary and comment. Be ready for a big scroll, this infographic is 4320px long Thanks for the guys at The Awesome Blog for making it.
I learned something interesting here. If you’re looking for the right barcode technology for your marketing campaign let’s consider the reason for looking at the alternatives to QR Codes with a few questions:
is your target audience more likely to use MMS rather than Mobile internet?
will the target audience be unlikely to have a barcode scanner (for QR Codes or Microsoft tags)? or will it be hard to install one for them?
are you willing to pay for generating the barcodes?
do you really need to have your logo, fully uncluttered on the barcode?
If you answered positive to all these questions you can consider SnapTags as an alternative. That’s what the infographic says and I wholeheartedly agree. The way SpyderLynk works is by sending a picture of the logo over to their services and returning you marketing message in the response. Works great to reach people with even basic phones, but you’ll make them pay for MMS and their phone should be set up for it too.
I can tell you right off the bat that MMS will not work in Belgium, the operators do a lousy job at supporting the technology and it’s horribly expensive. That said, it might work in other countries, I can imagine that it’s a different landscape in America and Asia, but I doubt other parts of Europe. As far as my research has told me using QR Codes is your best bet to reaching the most people at this time.
Other things to learn from the infographic:
from a publisher standpoint each type of barcode can provide the same kind of services for tracking
30-40% of all smartphone users have downloaded a barcode scanning app
barcode scanning was a huge hit during the holiday season, accounting for 57% of the tracked scans in 2010
main target markets are grocery and personal care products (figures most peopel scanning are women)
barcode marketing isn’t for targeting children (for now), 30% of the people scanning are aged 35-44
most people scanning barcodes have a reasonably high house hold income
industry leaders have chosen QR Codes as their preferred barcode marketing solution
The conclusion that popularity of barcode scanning during the holiday may be based on an aberration, the numbers are based on the 2010 holiday season and late in that year QR Codes started trending heavily, so the conclusion is probably based on a coincidence. The next holiday season will tell, but I predict another spike around that time. I’ll be sharing more of my personal research in the near future so stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter.
I’ve been out of blogging for a few weeks as I started my new job at Agency.com a part of TBWA as Project Manager, managing digital project. And what better way to start again than with this nice QR Code infographic.
The video recording of the presentation on QR Code Mashups I gave at Barcamp has become available. If you’re planning on using QR Codes in the slide deck of your next presentation, please read on, you’re bound to learn something.
What to look out for when using QR Codes in your slides
Some elements of a good presentation experience are really in the details, here are my lessons learned when using QR Codes.
contrast is king, big black QR Codes on a white background work best
if you can, maximize the redundancy, especially if you’re planning to do something arty with your code (that’s “level H error correction” in QR Code lingo)
as mentioned in the presentation, don’t invert and don’t transform (e.g. no skewing or tilting the image)
when using a QR Code as a link to online content, add a short URL at the bottom of each QR Code, this is for people who don’t have a scanner, don’t want to scan or can’t scan the QR Code
announce that you’re going to show QR Codes, people can get their scanners ready
if you can scan a QR Code on your screen at home, that doesn’t mean it will be scannable on a projection, especially for arty QR Codes
optional: show people where they can download a scanner at the start of the presentation or in the hand-outs
The biggest lesson learned here is probably that it’s harder to scan from a projected image then you would presume. Also the QR Code is a means to an end, it’s fun as a gimmick once or twice but remember that it’s meant to make access to a resource easier and quicker (e.g. URL, vCard, coupon code, …) You shouldn’t use it as a teaser in a presentation as you would in a marketing campaign if you don’t explicitly mean to play hide and seek.
Context on my QR Code presentation
This is to give you an idea of how and why I used QR Codes in my presentation.
the people in the crow where pretty close to the projection as the room was small, I chose this room intentionally
I paid special attention to make the projected image sharp
there where iPhones, an iPad2 and Android phones in the audience
the crowd was pretty gadget savvy and I had a hunch that I could count on at least 1 internet connected mobile devices with a QR Code scanner on it for each 2 people in the room, luckily my hunch was correct
A big part of my presentation was showing what are the do’s and don’ts for designing and using your own QR Codes. If you check out the presentation you’ll notice I made it deliberately hard to scan some of the QR Codes on the slides.
Crowd reaction to QR Codes
It was interesting to see how people reacted and went about scanning the QR Codes.
people where having fun, the interactive character of the presentation was appreciated
for ideal scanning, someone in the audience should sit in a right angle to the projection
some mobile scanner apps are better than others for projections
some people might needed to get up out of their seat and move up close to be able to scan
In the meantime I found out hand-outs are a good solution to make sure everyone will be able to scan your QR Codes.
Some trivia worth sharing here:
people like little mobile sites as extras, feedback on those was very positive overall (if they worked as advertised)
the iPad2 wasn’t that good at scanning from a distance, but the iPhones didn’t have the same issue
Shortly after Barcamp Antwerp I got invited by the Tech45 crew, a popular Belgian/Dutch podcast. There’s a Barcamp special where they interviewed me on QR Code technology and I got to join the pannel on the show the week after, which was really fun to do. Check them out for the gadget and tech news if not for the diverse spectrum of charming Dutch accents
This is one of my “stuff I got from the internet” type of posts, so if you want to know more about my QR Code marketing mashup research or project management advice feel free to skip this one. If you’re in to online marketing you could stick around because that’s something the Raz*War brand does very well in my honest opinion, and they’ve got their current success to speak for that.
edit: and there’s the coupon code at the bottom of the article if you’re interested
I’m a pretty big fan of the Raz*War brand razors and got a chance to test their latest product, the Raz*War Black, before it hits the store.
I tried the Raz*War Black this morning and this is my review:
first thing I noticed, the handle is great, big enough and it has a really good grip
glides very smoothly across the skin, comparable with the Gillette I used to shave with but in all fairness the Raz*War Black has a better feeling on the skin
the razor is really easy to rinse
the spring mechanism that pushed the blades toward the skin is a bit (too) light, you won’t cut yourself easily, that’s for sure
it’s a lot prettier than their other 5 blade model
In the past I’ve had other razors break down at the handle connection and I’m wondering how long that part of the Raz*War black will last, by the looks of the build it should withstand quite a lot.
As it’s still in beta there’s no way to tell what the price of the refills will be, but I presume Raz*War will continue its trend of really cheap re-fills.
The result of my shave looks like this, as I hope you can tell *cough* I’m learning about product photography (don’t worry, I won’t give up my day job yet):
As you may notice, I don’t shave my throat area with a razor.
Before this test I was using the Raz*War El Ché model and I’m considering changing to Black when it comes out of beta.
I’m not affiliated with Raz*War or anything similar. I like what they are doing, wanted to share this with you and give them some publicity on the blog here.
edit: Yay! In the meantime, the people from Raz*War contacted me and gave me a coupon code to share with you. Use RWFORBERT in your check-out. With this code you can get a 15% reduction at razwar.com valid for orders starting at 7.50€ and the coupon code is valid until April 22, 2011.