Macy’s QR Code Campaign Fails to Deliver

For the past few months, Macy’s has been placing customized/designer QR Codes in many of its print advertisements (see image below) and, for whatever reason, up until now, I have not paid much attention to them. When I spotted a code advertisement in today’s New York Times, however, I decided to scan the code to see what would happen. Maybe I should have ignored this advertisement like I have all of the others.

When I scanned the QR Code, I was brought to a web page that read, “This feature is not supported. Go to Full HTML Version.” Why should that be? Why should I not be able to view what I believe was intended to be a mobile website? Is my HTC Incredible running Android so out of date or not programmed correctly? Your guess is as good as mine. When I touched the “Go to Full HTML Version” message, just to see what would happen, I was brought to a desktop version of the company’s website, which was expected, but is far from ideal. Although I said, “I should have ignored this advertisement like I have all of the others,” in actuality, I wish I had scanned the others to see if their 2D/mobile experience matched this one. Lousy.

What’s also interesting to note about the Macy’s campaign is that several months ago, Macy’s ran a campaign with JAGTAG codes (see article), then I thought ScanLife took over the account (don’t quote me on that) back in the fall, and now I wonder who’s calling the shots. Based on the scan resolve URL, it seems as though Macy’s might have taken the work in-house. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a brand changing agencies/vendors and even bringing work in-house, I’m just wondering why the vendors couldn’t keep the business.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL


One thought on “Macy’s QR Code Campaign Fails to Deliver

  1. I'm seeing this a lot. It seems the pendulum has swung all the way to the right with organizations putting a QR code on anything and everything without sincere thought about what it is supposed to accomplish. When used correctly a QR code can be a great way to expand the customer experience from print to digital but there must be something in it for the respondent. American Express Open just did a wonderful campaign for small business Saturday with a well integrated QR code taking you to a mobile ready site linked to the campaign.
    The difference between these two campaigns shows just how wide the gap is on the use of QR codes and once again proves that doing something “because you can” is not the best strategy.

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