March 28, 2012 by Matthew Kearney - 3 comments
It seems quite fitting that my first article is on some of the most notable QR codes, coming so soon after our piece on QR Code Disasters. It may surprise many to know that the humble QR code has actually been around for 18 years; it was invented in 1994 by Toyota in order to track their cars through the manufacturing process. Only in the last few years has the QR code been embraced by marketers & advertisers. The general principle is that QR (or Quick Response) codes, when used in collaboration with a smartphone barcode reader, promote instant interaction with an offering from the company. Whether these handy little codes will be used for a long time, or simply a passing fad, remains to be seen. But either way we should enjoy the creativity that they have inspired. So, without further ado, here are some of the greatest/ most inventive QR codes out there:
I know the American readers will recoil in disgust, but I’m going to do it – I’m going to call soccer, football! In this innovative campaign from Betfair, they combined a giant and inventive QR code, with a viral video campaign. They used 2,000 footballs, 8 glamorous assistants, and 5 hours to make a huge QR code. To prove it worked they also had someone skydive from a plane overhead and scan it on their phone.
The unofficial world’s largest QR code. Air en Fete put this monster together, and although it doesn’t have a certificate from the good people at the Guinness World Records, but it is currently the world’s largest ever QR code.
Who doesn’t love Lego?! Mytoys.de launched an intuitive outdoor QR campaign whereby they constructed large QE codes out of Lego, and placed them inside advertising displays. The codes were placed in areas that received high levels of traffic from passing families, and inquisitive consumers who scanned the codes were directed towards the company’s website and their products.
If this isn’t the most spectacular use of a QR code(s) then I want to see one better! This appeared in New York and is a fantastic combination of art and guerrilla marketing, quite aptly celebrating an artistic pioneer.
This next example certainly isn’t as grand or extravagant as the others, but I definitely think it is innovative and I can definitely relate to it from a university perspective. Basically a University Professor decided to add QR codes to her office door, with immediate contact options for her students to utilise.
Any of Patrick Donnelly’s ‘designer’ QR codes are certainly a sight to behold, but I think that this example is particularly striking as the medium through which it is delivered is perfect for the demographic that will typically utilise QR codes. Behold! The Farmville QR code
This QR code is certainly a spectacle to behold. Created in November 2011, the initial plan was to create the world’s largest QR code. They may not have succeeded, but the combination of painstaking craftsmanship and sheer enormity (see the people standing next to it for reference), makes it more than worthy of a place on this list.
This impressive QR code was cut into a German field by the Hello World Project in order to be detected by Google Earth satellites. It is definitely inventive, and had the intended result of gaining widespread publicity for the project.
Okay, so this one isn’t in the same league as the others, but I had to include it. It is inventive, and certainly made me smile. Though I don’t think I’d ever scan it, and much less wear it…