QR Codes: The Most Interesting [Thing] in The World

Right now, QR Codes may be the most interesting thing in the world. And they’re invading everywhere.

For those not in the know, a QR Code stands for Quick Response Code, and what they do is contain information — whether that be a link to a website, a Facebook profile or even a phone number — in the form of a bar code that can be decoded by any bar code scanning app on a smart phone.

But they’re not anything new. In fact, they have been in use since 1994 when they were invented in Japan, and only just recently, with the massive increase in smart phone usage, have they become a focal point for many marketing campaigns in the United States. Now, they can be found in and on just about anything — billboards, business cards, menus, T.V. shows and even resumes. People are using them not only as a convenient way to link to information about websites or products, but also as a way to provide users with additional content that they wouldn’t be able to normally find through by visiting a website.

QR Codes have also become an important way to make print media stand out. Billboards such as Calvin Klein’s “Get it Uncensored” prompted users to scan a QR Code on a billboard which then directed them towards a racy video promoting the brand.

Most importantly, they work. When executed correctly, QR Code marketing campaigns have the potential to create huge interest towards a company. An award winning marketing campaign in Germany for the website had QR Code advertisements designed out of Legos that, when scanned, would direct users to the company website. Ultimately, it resulted in massive increases in traffic for the website.

They’re also free. Various sites offer free QR Code generation, and all they require is that you enter a website address or phone number in order to be generated.

So, if you’re looking for ways to differentiate your company’s marketing, maybe think about introducing them to something that’s (kinda) fresh. Sometimes, people just want to meet the new kid on the block.