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QR Codes And Commercials – Friends or Foes?


After speaking to some buddies about QR Codes recently, it seems that advertising agencies are still a little concerned about ‘wasting important advertising dollars’ on placing QR Codes in their commercials. Despite being a QR Code technology enthusiast, I would have to say that, at this point in time, I agree. Maybe the scanning technology and the flexibility of mobile phones is not mature enough for QR Code-bearing commercials. 

Here is why. 

One major problem with placing a QR Code in a commercial is timing. It takes time for people to see the code placed in the corner, another few more minutes to pull out (or find) their mobile phones, another few minutes to load the QR Code reader and chances are, by the time they are ready to scan the QR Code, the commercial’s over and done with. What this means is that we are leaving behind a curious and probably an extremely frustrated potential customer. Can’t be a good thing, that. 

The solution would be for us to have our phones in our hands all the time when we are sitting in front of the television. The solution would be for application designers to come up with a faster-loading QR Code reader. The solution would be for us to sit closer to the television set because our phones can’t scan something that is located too far away from where we are sitting. 

True story. A friend of mine, whom I have (successfully) converted into a QR Code fanatic, tried to scan a QR Code in a commercial recently said that he managed to scan a code in a television commercial but not without a lot of fuss and fanfare trying to find and load the QR Code reader on his phone. His comment – there was a lot of rushing. Plus, he had to get off the sofa and run to the television, frantic, trying to make it before the commercial ends. To top it all off, when he finally loads the web page, it is the very same page that he could have accessed if he was sitting in front of his computer. 

He wasn’t a happy person that night. 

So, suffice to say, I would have to opine that QR Code is not ready for TV commercials yet…or the other way around. Would you agree with me if I said that QR Code technology ought to stay on in the print industry at this point in time?


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