Quick Response (QR) codes such as Smart Tags, AirCodez, have been recently used by brands to hyperlink print, taking the interactivity with customers closer to a multimedia level.
A QR code is a unique barcode in two dimensions, with a black-and-white pattern of squares (standard barcodes are one-dimensional). They can be scanned by users with the help of a mobile phone camera and linked to a WAP site, online multimedia content and much more. In this manner, the QR code can work as a convergence point for the print and digital medium.
Sandeep Amar, Head of Marketing and Audience, Indiatimes, believed that it was an exciting concept that could have various uses – payment options, coupons for customers, or simply add multimedia interface to print.
Advertisers can enhance their print advertisements with multimedia, from a short video feature to a TV commercial as well.
Cybermedia’s business computing magazine, ‘PC Quest’, has been hyperlinkING its articles to adverts and more editorial content on its WAP site from their March 2011 edition onwards.
Pradeep Gupta, Chairman, CyberMedia, felt that QR codes could make print pages more interactive. He said, “The launch of QR codes with the 3G rollout in India will allow readers to move smoothly on to the next level of interactivity and convergence for print media. Marketers can use QR codes to put special offers, coupons and videos to their print advertisement. This increases the knowledge resource available to an interested consumer and is a great enhancement.”
“We expect this advertising and marketing innovation to lead to the rejuvenation of print – integrating print with rich multimedia on the mobile,” Gupta added.
Kanika Mathur, President, Digitas India, too, said that it was a great engagement medium for brands and consumers. According to her, “QR Codes cause intrigue and excitement among consumers. Brands can send one-on-one messages to consumers on it and serve information over mobile. With smartphones and 3G becoming popular in India, they can prove to be an exciting medium of mobile engagement.”
CP Singh, CTO, Possible Worldwide, believed that QR codes had a big potential in terms of apps. He explained, “The beauty of QR codes lies in the ability to have a lot of information within them. They would also help measure the advertisement’s value more efficiently. If people scan a QR code on an advertisement and check the WAP site or video connected to it, it would reflect interest on the part of the consumer.”