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Esquire On QR Codes


For the past years, magazine and newspaper publishers have been test-driving QR Codes in their publications, albeit, rather subtly. But with the new year and new acceptance, there is much more enthusiastic anticipation in the air. Peppered throughout the magazines and newspapers are QR Codes and icons that are no longer as strange as it used to look. Gone are the days of CueCat, the entrant to this technology. They started using a similar technology ten years ago and it never took off because of the cumbersomeness of having to have a specific (expensive) device to read the code.

QR Codes not only brings interactivity to magazine articles, advertisements and advertorials, they enliven the pages. There is a general consensus that using QR Codes enhances articles and creates new-found curiosity.

One good example of the many great advantages of using a QR Code is this – if you saw an advertisement for a fashion line that you think is interesting printed right on the body of the bus in front of you while stuck in traffic, you, as a consumer, have the ability to access more information related to the fashion line by merely pulling out your cell phone and scanning the QR Code.

So, unlike CueCat which required a fairly expensive device, everyone with a smart phone now have a scanner in their pocket…or bag…or wherever it is that you put your phone.

While it’s been big in Japan and other parts of Europe for nearly a decade, Americans, sadly, is slow to take up on this new technology. The good news is that search engines are on it, big brand names are on it, Telco companies are on it, mobile phone makers are on it…it’s hard to resist it now.

In fact, Esquire will be printing, in its March 2010 issue, a feature item called ‘The Esquire Collection’ whereby it will feature a QR Code for each item. The QR Code will lead to a menu on their cell phone where there is advice on style, information on the product and suggestions.

Representative of the brand name said that they have been hearing a lot of about the technology but it is our guess that they have never really looked into how it can seriously affect consumerism until now. The magazine acknowledges the fact that it is now up to publishers to venture out into this uncharted QR Code territory in order to educate and ‘show’ people and advertisers how QR Codes can be an advantage to everyone concerned.

And we couldn’t agree more.

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