HBO is on a tear using branded QR codes, as I just spotted another one. This one is for the series Eastbound and Down.
As seen in the images below, a branded QR code is displayed in the lower right hand corner of the billboard and, when scanned, the reader can view a trailer of the series. My comments on this campaign are similar to those for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire 2D campaign, so I’ll be brief. With no instructions on how to scan the code, it seems like HBO is comfortable letting people figure it out on their own. This does not seem like a pro-active way to engage with an audience, let alone to introduce a new technology, but who am I to say. To offer a trailer of the series does not seem very original, nor does it work to enhance the consumer/viewer experience, mobile or otherwise. In addition, why the branded code? Out of context, who would know the main character’s profile, which is not very discernible to begin with, and how it relates to the series. In context, it is simply not necessary, so why the added expense.
I have an email into HBO to try and speak with someone about the strategy and thought process behind these recent campaigns. If I am able to share any insight I will.