Time Warner Cable is running this magazine advertisement, which features a QR code. When the code is scanned, the resolve brings the reader to an internal shopping page on the company’s regular web site. Can you say, “What’s the point?”
To transport a reader from the print world to the digital world is simple but, in reality, that’s only half of the 2D equation. The other half, the more important half to contend with, is, what does the reader do, receive and or experience once he/she arrives in the digital world? In this example, not all that much. The first impression the reader has of the digital Time Warner Cable world is that they are being asked a categorization question, are they a new customer or an existing customer. Not even a “Hello!” or “Thank you for scanning the QR code!” or “Welcome to the wonderful world of Time Warner Cable!” Readers are not offered a special deal/rate, no act now offer, no product information or lure, etc. Not only does this go against the grain of what 2D technology is all about and how best to use it, but a code resolve like this also speaks directly to the lack of a well thought out landing page. The only thing that this advertisement/campaign is doing a good job at, and I have seen this elsewhere many times over, is having a one-way conversation and interaction with the consumer. In this day and age, a strategy like this spells anything but success.
Regardless of how the reader gets to the company’s “landing page” (i.e., 2D code or URL address which is provided) there is no value or benefit being offered to them. Nothing to move them further along the purchase decision path. Time Warner Cable could have thought of some innovative and clever ways to do this via the code but, I suppose, at the end of the day, they realize they don’t have to, because of the semi-monopolistic stance that they have in the local market. (That’s a whole other article.) But, if that’s the case then why bother spending the money to advertise?
With respect to the code itself, why not provide instructions or an explanation about how to scan the code and where to locate a reader app? Also, why is the line “Powered by Pictorial” displayed below the code? What does this mean? What purpose does it serve? I Googled Pictorial using a variety of search words and could not find anything about who they are or what it is.
Lastly, I wonder why Time Warner Cable does not make use of the cartoon character that they developed for their monthly newsletter, which is based on a Microsoft Tag? To me, this seems like a natural fit and opportunity for cross promotion via the Tag-based character. Why introduce a QR code at this point in time?
For a communications company, this campaign does little to show that it cares about having a real and meaningful dialog, let alone relationship, with new and or existing customers.