Microsoft announced its Microsoft Tag alternative to QR codes, and life goes on as it did before. By this I mean that there was no massive shakedown of the industry just yet, and while products pushed by giants such as MS should never be ignored, let’s take a brief look at the future of QR barcodes.
It seems that our recent reservations about the QR codes spreading from Japan into the West were unnecessary, as there’s more and more daily reports from both Europe and the US about the familiar consumer codes being used on marketing materials. Looking back at the title, the metaphor could be expanded somewhat. The arrival of QR codes is not so much akin to the fast burst of expanding flame, as it is to the beginnings of an earthquake. The earth shakes slowly, rumbling and testing the structures upon it, announcing a change that is going to make a violent appearance from the foundations at any second. The weak will fall, and new life will grow from the cracks of post-QR marketing.
The Dutch government, embracing its technological trendsetter role in the Old Continent, has launched an advertisement campaign with Sprxmobile, putting up some 1500 billboards around the country. These billboards not only include QR code, they use the code as the focal point of the advertisement, putting it at the forefront of the marketing buzz.
Likewise, Fox Searchlight put up over 100 posters in 2 New York subway stations to promote their recently released film Notorious. All of the posters feature a QR-encoded link to the company’s Youtube page, where the trailer for the movie is available, a clear indication of the studio’s aggressive venture into new media advertising.
These are but two examples of how gigantic marketing players are not relying simply on loud noises and erotic innuendo to promote their products. Technology is the play of the day, and it seems that QR code is one of the indicators of a shift in not only the technology, but the approach to consumers. The good old brand bombardement isn’t working anymore, and the famed recession demands creativity and new angles.
The ground is indeed shaking, and QR is taking decisive strides into our daily lives in the West, proving once again that while the Japanese market may often be a bit too wild for our tastes, they do occasionally produce a pearl which can have global reprecussions.