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QR Code Fail: How Betfair Screwed Up Its QR Code Campaign


Marketing is all about knowing your target market right?  So if you are targeting men, of any age, sex sells too, right?

But Betfair, an online betting firm, is taking things too far.  The company has paid Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney to put a QR code on their butts.  The pair are the world’s 26th best beach volleyball players, and the United Kingdom’s first choice for London 2012.

Technically, the QR codes would appear on the duo’s bikini bottoms, but still, we challenge you to scan it without feeling more than a little uncomfortable, or at least being thought of as a pervert.

QR codes are now everywhere, literally.

The new QR code campaign gives a whole new meaning to “ubiquitous”.

The Betfair campaign is seen as the first in-play QR code, and the first time that athletes have agreed to wear one.

Andy Lulham at Betfair says that they wanted to ensure that the campaign is “seen and remembered” by as many sports fans as possible.  

The QR codes, if you could get the pair to stand still long enough and muster enough courage to scan it, takes you to Betfair’s website.

Memorable, yes.  But effective?

Location is one of the more important considerations in QR code marketing.  For one, it has to be easily scanned, so it should not be too high or too low.  Place a QR code too high and people would have a hard time getting a successful scan.  Place it too low and it would be easily missed, plus the fact that people wouldn’t really want to stoop down to scan a QR code.  In this case, not only would scanning the QR code prove embarrassing, it would also be very difficult with both athletes moving around too much and too fast.

Betfair might have done its research well enough to know that beach volleyball is very popular in the U.K. and if they were aiming at a sport that would deliver them the most eyeballs for their QR code campaign, then this would be it.  Plus, it is very difficult to put up in-play advertising as well.  But their choice for a QR code and its location is downright unfortunate.

Tell us what you think.

Did Betfair hit it right?  Or do you agree with us?

If you are in London, be sure to catch the QR codes on August 9 to August 14 at  the Horse Guards Parade.  If you do get the chance to scan them, please let us know what happened.

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