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Best and Worst Invention Ever

QR Code: “Scan Me!!!!!” Consumer: “Why?

This is where we are now in the world of the QR code. It’s been so shamelessly promoted by half-rate marketers who wanted to appear like they were on the cutting edge of Web 2.0, that everyone hates them now. It’s like putting a QR code in an ad these days is about as bad as putting your MySpace address.

What happened? Dumb marketers dissed their consumers, that’s what happened. 99% of these led consumers to a non-mobile optimized website, and the rest went to a Facebook page. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

What’s so frustrating is that the QR code has so much potential to allow consumers to participate with brands. Look at Japan, DoCoMo ran ads on TV teaching consumers how to use them, and marketers used them correctly, to ENHANCE the experience or provide information not available in the ad itself. QR codes crush it in Japan. In the U.S., we basically use them to annoy consumers, or to give more information about tools at Home Depot. Nice job U.S.

We’d like to see a revitalization of the QR code. We’d like brands to use them correctly. We’d like to police their use and write tickets to marketers who continually use them badly, like in the subway. The QR code has potential to provide data and analytics about the offline efforts for our clients, VALUABLE information. We’d like to see it happen.