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Banner vs. QR Codes

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Ever since the world was introduced to online marketing, banner ads are considered the norm…on the internet and on cell phones. In mobile web pages, advertisers manage to find the space to embed their interactive banner advertisements on their target market’s cell phones whenever they access a mobile web page. Banner advertisements are comparatively more scaleable than other more innovative forms of mobile advertising.

For instance, QR Codes.

QR Code marketing is far less scaleable and it sits at the other far end of the mobile marketing spectrum. They may lack the appeal on the looks front (being square and black and white) but it certainly does not lose out on the interactive aspect. Banner advertisements may be more colorful and attractive, it’s been argued that QR Codes should receive the same amount of consideration as banner ads.

Japan’s been using QR Codes for almost everything since its introduction; Americans are less hyped up about the concept mainly because most American cell phones don’t come preloaded with QR Code readers. We’re, however, seeing a little bit of change here and there, especially now that some European countries are already picking up on that.

Recently, in Tokyo, there was a campaign launched for Northwest Airlines and there were billboards showing a QR Code in subway stations and many other public places. The agenda is simple. Cell phone users scan the QR Code found, access a dedicated mobile web page created by the airline, play a game in order to win free tickets to predetermined destinations. You see, the concept is pretty simply with the advantage of it being completely mobile because target market does not need to be sitting in front of a computer or whip out a laptop to play the game. It’s all there in their cell phones.

It is our hope that more cell phone companies preload QR Code readers into the phones that they sell. That remains to be one of the main reasons why the QR code trend have yet to take off over here and large companies, although have test-driven the concept, consider QR Code marketing to be only a ‘test worthy’ concept but not concrete enough to be taken seriously. They’re not pouring too much hope and money into it yet.

Polo Ralph Lauren DID work the QR Code concept into their ad campaigns but they refused to divulge the results citing that they deem it merely a concept that could help create a ‘buzz’ instead of generating sales.

In time, hopefully with the cooperation and initiative from mobile phone companies, QR Code can become the accepted norm.

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