Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ouch: the QR code that didn’t work…a cautionary tale

It’s a nightmare I’ve already had.

“Suppose the QR code doesn’t work for some reason?”

Thank God, the few I’ve used have performed well, and their adapted mobile browser functionality is right on the mark.

Lately, I’ve been fantasizing about covering the side of a building with one huge QR code for the right promotion, tantamount to when Apple rolled out the iPods in New York and San Francisco with the contemporized Peter Max-ist vinyl posters that covered commercial building exteriors all over town.

Well, anyway, I started going through the July/August issue of “Fast Company” today, which is outstanding, by the way, and I come across this ad for

A solid black full page. A short captivating headline, knocked out to white, reading “Is my idea a big idea?” And a QR code below it.

So I take my iPhone, shoot the little sucker, and what happens?


Instead of automatically connecting to a mobile browser version of the web page, my Safari browser opens up with the majority of the content missing.

Lesson learned: if you’re going to use a QR code in a new marketing or lead generation campaign, make sure it works.

And if your intended web page was originally created for a large laptop screen, make sure you talk to a developer about creating a succinct version of that web user experience for mobile devices, or at the very least, create a mobile app landing page.

Otherwise, it may not be such a big idea.

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