The QR code: An unexpected pandemic hero

Abigail McGrath 03/01/22 - 10:05 am

The QR code: An unexpected pandemic hero

Through all the ups and downs, the challenges and changes of this pandemic, one unlikely hero has risen and revolutionized our communication: the QR code.

You know them well, maybe because you scanned one last night at dinner or at the store the other day. QR, or Quick Response codes are unique matrix barcodes that users scan with a smartphone camera. Once a camera has read the code, it directs the user to a specific webpage, menu, app, etc.

This code technology is by no means new. In fact, QR technology was introduced in 1994 and had almost gone extinct before the pandemic. So why did it meet a resurgence? See some of the benefits the codes have brought back:

  • QR technology is touchless. In our current health-conscious, hands-free society, the codes have allowed us to get the same information as each other without touching the same materials or menus as each other.
  • It’s fast and straightforward. We all know by now that a simple smartphone hover leads to the information we need. QR codes need little to no instruction and deliver immediate results.
  • It’s trackable. QR codes are a cost-effective way for clients to direct users to a specific page that supports their goal and then track those results.
  • It’s a space saver. Rather than including lengthy instructions on how to download an app, donate to a cause or sign up for an event, a QR code brings users right to the app download page, the donation screen or the signup link. Advertisers know how valuable real estate on materials can be. QR codes save space, leaving you room for additional messaging, photos or whitespace.
  • It’s mysterious. Because of their newer nature and frequent lack of context, QR codes carry a sense of intrigue. Billboards on highways have been seen with QR codes and nothing else. An entire 60-second ad in this year’s Big Game even featured a colorful QR code on screen with no further explanation. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, ran the intriguing ad to prompt users to scan and get $15 of free currency. And the mysterious nature of it delivered big results.
  • The possibilities are endless. Now that users are attuned to scanning and interacting with QR codes, advertisers can turn up the creativity and make them work hard for their campaigns. Direct your audience to a virtual tour or immersive experience. Lead them to social media channels or reviews pages on the way out of a client’s business. Thanks to their simplicity and versatility, QR codes are the gateway to great creative and great results.

Interested in learning more about the latest marketing, social media, healthcare or financial trends? Explore our Brogan blog.

Blog Category: Digital Insights & Trends

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