After reading, scanning and interacting with this QR Code-based print ad from Michael Aram, it dawned on me, this ad benefits neither the consumer nor the advertiser. So, the question could then be asked, why produce and launch the ad in the first place?
When the reader of the ad scans the QR Code, they are linked to a two-minute YouTube video, which features Michael Aram talking about the design and manufacture of the company’s Botanical Leaf Collection, the collection displayed in the ad.
While I can understand the value and usefulness of putting a face, voice and/or personality behind the company and the person who founded it, what I don’t understand is why, when the video ends, it leads to nothing. There’s no link to the company’s main website, product pages, a purchase page, a retail locator page, click to call for more information, a mobile coupon, or anything else for that matter. Yes, the consumer benefits by gaining some company/product information for the brief period of time while the video is being viewed, but then the interactive experience and benefit just ends. So, what’s the consumer to do? Or, it could be asked, what does the advertiser assume the consumer will do? If it’s to make a purchase keep on assuming.
If the consumer has no means or incentive to move further along the purchase decision path because, as in this case, the video leads to nothing, then what are the odds that a purchase will be made and the company can realize revenue? In my mind, the odds are extremely low. See my point? Not only does the consumer not benefit from a poorly thought out and executed QR Code campaign, but so does the company with respect to making sales. Again, what’s the point of incurring the cost of producing and placing the ad if the ad is not even positioned to succeed. Maybe the goal is not to sell product?
Instead of simply linking a QR Code to a video, why not create a feature- and information-rich mobile website, where tons of company and product information is provided and links to retailers, discounts, customer reviews, etc., can be found? Hey, here’s another thought, why not use a call-to-action with the code to drive scans and interactions (currently, there is none)? I bet if the call-to-action was “win a private dinner with Michael Aram” or “attend a new product launch event” people would respond, share and get excited about the product offering and might even purchase something.
2D Bar Code Litmus Test: FAIL