Surprise me better

Posted on 11/08/2011


The world might be slowly turning digital, but many people still prefer print. This is the only thing that can explain why a magazine focussed on digital marketing still relies on a print circulation.

I’d just got this months Figaro Digital home when I noticed the sneaky QR code hidden in the cover. Curious, I got out my phone and opened up a QR reader app.

Sadly, most companies forget about this step. They assume that people instinctively read QR codes (57% still don’t), and that people will be happy to visit any link, or download they put in front of them. Wrong. It’s an effort and it’s still slightly odd to go round taking photos of every advert with a QR code on it. When someone goes to the effort of getting out their phone, the least you could do it entertain them. Which is exactly what Figaro did.

The link took you to a mobile microsite that tracked stats about the people who’d read the QR code. They showed you where other people had viewed the link from, what operating system (Apple, Android, Blackberry etc.) They were on and the screen size they were using. It was surprising, fun and exactly what their readers would be interested in.

Which is more than I can say about the QR code displayed on the Aram furniture store in Covent Garden. Why take people to a generic website that’s not designed for mobile? Conclusion: avoid gimics and only use new technology if it’s going to be stunning/ surprising.