Nine West’s Branded 2D Barcode

Nine West, the women’s fashion shoe company, launched this two-page advertisement in the New York Post last week to promote its Runway Relief campaign. Featured in the ad is a branded barcode which, when scanned, resolves to a behind-the-scenes video and enables the reader to purchase the limited edition boots that are being worn by the models in the advertisement.

Nine West QR Code

As is often the case, Nine West chooses to minimize the explanation of the code and the instructions to make use of it. Why? Are they afraid the added copy will ruin the overall creative of the ad? Do they believe readers who are curious about the code will just learn about or figure out the code on their own? Or, do they just not care and look at it as though they tried a new way to advertise; if it works fine and if it doesn’t, oh well, better luck next time?

With the way CMOs are being tasked to explain and justify every spend these days, I don’t believe Nine West, or any other company, can produce a 2D campaign and simply leave it to any of the questions/thoughts posed above. It doesn’t make sense or, I should say, it makes little sense. If a company goes to such an extreme to put a code in place, why not make the interactive experience as good as it can be for any and all potential users? At a minimum, take the guess work out of figuring out what type of 2D code it is, so a reader of the ad knows which reader app to launch on his/her smart phone.

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4 thoughts on “Nine West’s Branded 2D Barcode

  1. One hope's that NINE WEST track their online presence through Google Alerts and they see this post.

    Yet again, you've found some of the worst-of-the-worst when it comes to QR/2D campaign execution. I'm fine with allowing QR/2D tags to have “a little mystery” about them…but, this is some of the worst execution of a campaign on technical terms:

    Using a proprietary tag that is further “designed” means no one has a clue with regard to what Reader to use, unless there is an explanation.

    To boot (no pun intended), making a “designer” code with a man's boot print for a women's shoe ad? On a creative, connect with the user, level, it's another miss.

    Really, these are examples of self-fulfilling prophecies for Creatives who do not want to have QR/2D tags “litter” their print work. They will be abysmal campaign failures and clients won't try it again. Until you find an Agency with an integrated approach to print and mobile you'll keep seeing this disconnect.

    @ninewest should dump their agency for this kind of truly sloppy work and wasted dollars.

  2. Excellent point. About 80% of the 2D code executions I see, be it packaging, direct mail, print advertising, etc. include no call to action or directional explanation. A huge missed opportunity. I find myself explain to friends and colleagues what they are looking at in the creative.

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