It’s good to see QR codes are being further trialled as a cross-media tool in India. After Mid Day, car manufacturer Ford is using QR Code in print ads for its new hatchback Figo. The QR Code on the Ford advertisement delivers via mobile, a video advertisement of the Figo.
To what end will QR Codes be used in India? If a media company – Mid Day – or a brand like Ford is using QR codes, what are they trying to achieve? As Karthik S points out in his post, asking a user to install a QR code reader is a lot of trouble for a consumer to go through to access just a video clip. Additionally, why would a consumer want to download an advertisement clip, see the same ad on his mobile that he’ll probably see on TV? To top it all, you’re making me pay Rs. 10 as GPRS charges for downloading an advertisement to my mobile?
It might be all right from a company’s perspective – it will help them add another layer of data to their print campaign by tracking the number of downloads, but there is no real interaction taking place between the consumer and the brand: no discounts or freebies, no attempt at creating a fan base. When was the last time you were amazed at the experience that a short code driven mobile service provided you with? Interactivity and cross-media is fine, but really, not enough is being done to leverage the advantages of the digital medium. For example, McDonalds in Japan provided nutritional and ingredient information for specific dishes using QR codes.
Instead of a video, Ford could well have linked to a detailed online review of the car for people who wanted more info, instead of a video. Another example: TheyTry a city based treasure hunt: the advertisements on paper and online should be the starting clue, and at each end could be a QR code with the next clue, perhaps something hosted online, as an image, a video or just text with a riddle. Of course, that would been a lot more complicated, and required a significantly large budget and detailed logistical plan.