By: Howie Leibach

If you haven’t seen a QR or “quick response” code this year, chances are you’re still living in a dark, desolate basement with a Sega Genesis and your pet Tamagotchi. In any case, advertisers are utilizing the technology more and more. Essentially, anyone with a smart phone can download an app which captures the image of a square bar code which leads to a link of redeemable coupons or websites.

According to, 32% of smartphone respondents said they have scanned a QR code. Of those, 53% said they used the code to get a coupon or discount. And 72% said they were more likely to remember an advertisement with a QR code. I think the latter of these statistics is most relevant to advertisers. The functionality of QR codes isn’t necessarily where it needs to be yet but the technology is still relatively in an underground phase where it’s hip and cool to know about QR codes.

Just by having a QR code in an ad, consumers who are technology enthusiasts might appreciate the fact that the company has a vast knowledge the latest smartphone advances. Even artists are getting in on the action. A day before the launch of musician Lupe Fiasco’s album launch, he broadcasted a QR code into the sky where his biggest fans congregated to snap the image, which led them to a link allowing a pre-sale purchase of the album.

So ask yourself: have you used a QR code? If you have, did you like the content that the QR code brought you to? If you’re like me, chances are you were simply amazed that phones could do this in the first place. By participating in QR code mania, you may have felt tech savvy, maybe even cool enough to be in a Mac commercial for 30 seconds, but at the end of the day, what are you really getting? Like our digital pet, the Tomagatchi, I think QR codes are just a fad.



Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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