Tuesday, November 30, 2010

QR Readers | Advertising Uncensored

In case you haven't heard about this new technology(which has actually been out since the early 90's?), I'll just show you. If you have iPhone or any other mobile device worthy of the thousands of apps out there, you should definitely download the QR Reader if you want to keep up with the Jones's. QR stands for "Quick Response," which ultimately is what we all want. We want to push a button and be able to know exactly what we need/want to know as fast as possible. You may have noticed these ugly black and white squares all over everything lately. In magazines, on products, on bus benches, and even on billboards. Did you download QR reader yet? If not, do it, then hover your phone over this ugly box.


Took you straight to my site, right? So now you know what it does. Recently, Calvin Klein released an ad campaign using only their QR code that leads to a somewhat racy commercial that they probably couldn't have otherwise aired. They censored themselves before someone else beat 'em to the punch. Genius. Nice way to advertise exactly how they want without offending anyone. If you hold your QR reader up to their ad, you're asking for it. You're choosing to see what they want you to see. They're making it your idea! You're voluntarily taking time out of your day to look at an ad, when in the past, sometimes you don't even realize you've seen it. But now, it's open on a window in your phone. You are exclusive! You want to show your friends. They want to show theirs. After you scan the code and open the commercial, you can share the video on Twitter or Facebook. That's serious advertising. Here's the ad in case you want to check it out.

So what does this mean for the design industry? If you're a designer and have ever designed any sort of packaging, you know how annoying it is to have to add that ugly bar code. It's just sitting there in the corner. Being distracting from the design you've been slaving over for weeks. Looking all black and white and ugly. Now, not only is there the bar code to deal with on the back, but these hideous codes that will more than likely dominate the design. I'm not saying I don't like the idea of a QR code, I just don't like the idea of the print design being ignored so quickly because people will see the code and just get the information they need from the site it directs them to. It's nice for companies who use these though. How often do you look at your phone and realize you have about 5 windows open? The QR code enables companies to make you keep them in your pocket. This is yet another technology that's killing print. But it is pretty cool.

What are your thoughts?


  1. i JUST saw that ugly box on a toyota commercial about 5 minutes ago. now i know. i haven't checked it out yet but holy man it's an eyesore!

  2. Just wait! You'll start noticing them EVERYWHERE!!! It's pretty annoying, but I usually scan them anyway:)