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Quick Ruminations on QR Codes

First developed in Japan during the mid-1990s, the QR (Quick Response) Code has gone mega in the U.S. during the past few years, first as a replacement to zebra bar codes and then as a clever marketing tool.


 

First developed in Japan during the mid-1990s, the QR (Quick Response) Code has gone mega in the U.S. during the past few years, first as a replacement to zebra bar codes and then as a clever marketing tool. The mobile-friendly image is most often used as a link to websites, for exclusive promotions, special deals, or other unique campaigns. QR codes have appeared on business cards, in print ads, on posters and billboards, and even brick walls. We've actually seen the ubiquitous QR used as links to résumés. There are many ways to generate, deploy and track QR code data, but the proliferation of black pixelly boxes across marketing materials has struck some users as an ugly distraction. And while QR scanning apps are often free to acquire, it creates an extra step for accessibility. Depending on your campaign, that may not matter, but alternatives like Blippar are already popping up. So, while QR codes shouldn't be used gratuitously, thoughtfully-created QR codes with clear calls to action can be useful when they add value to a brand, such as an alternative way of perusing a restaurant's menu when on the go.