4 Tips to Exhume Mobile Barcodes From the Marketing Graveyard
I am always on the hunt for mobile barcodes to see how they're being used by marketers to engage with consumers. During the Easter holiday, my family and I made our annual trek to a national casual restaurant chain to have brunch and a give a break to our hostess (me) from all the holiday cooking. There were 11 of us, so it took a while for our food to arrive. Via a tabletop advertisement, this national chain offered diners the ability to win a prize by scanning a QR Code. Having nothing better to do, I decided to play along.
I was simply amazed (and dismayed) by what I found after scanning the code. First, the QR Code drove me to a non mobile-optimized website. While it gave me the opportunity to enter a contest to win a prize, before doing so I had to complete a long form providing my name, address, phone number, mobile phone number and email address. Imagine doing this on a small screen using a non-optimized website … It took forever! So much so that my teenaged niece (who ALWAYS has her iPhone either in her hand or in her back pocket) asked me what I was doing. I shared what I was working on and asked her if she had ever scanned a QR Code. Her response? "Yeah, when they first came out I used to scan every one I saw. But they were dumb, so I don't even pay any attention to them now."
After spending nearly 10 minutes filling out the form, I was redirected to a page that asked me what prize I'd like, should I win the contest. Unbelievably, the prize offering was a very small stuffed teddy bear (e.g. the size of one of the Pound Puppies) in a choice of four colors with the restaurant's name imprinted on it. Are you kidding me? Needless to say, I was so annoyed that I just closed out of the site without entering for the prize. I looked up at my niece who was giggling at me as she said, "See? I told you so."