Should every advertisement have a QR Code? I suggest that each ad MUST and here is why.
As I was enjoying my Sunday NY Times last weekend, I came across a two page spread in the Sunday Styles section -pages 8 and 9, for some Ralph Lauren products. They were promoting their Spring 2011 Collection. The advertisement features an attractive young lady in a western type outfit, complete with a large silver belt buckle (we are talking LARGE here - rodeo size). I was curious as to the price of the outfit. It wasn't something a girlfriend would likely wear (long leather fringes were running down the pant legs), but, I was curious anyway. Of course, as the saying goes, if I have to ask, I can't afford it - so it was really irrelevant. Nonetheless, I was looking for a little QR code that I could scan with my Android phone, but, no QR code was there.
Hmmm. Should there have been a QR Code? I was on the fence about this for a while. On one hand, this is a very high end product line, and although the customer base probably has the latest smart phone with bar code and QR code reading capability, would they be likely to break a nail trying to scan a bar code? That was a possibility. On the other hand, wouldn't it be good for Ralph Lauren to be able to capture information about who was interested in such a product? And maybe add those names to an opt-in email marketing list. Could that possibly be bad? After mulling this over for a week or so I've come to the conclusion that it could not be wrong to include a QR Code on the page, where users could be directed to the Ralph Lauren website.
Taking a long shot, and typing ralphlauren.com into the URL box in my browser, I was pleased to find myself in the right spot - there was the spring collection, and, interestingly enough, the entire collection was available as an app for the iPhone. Now, I don't own an iPhone, and there was no equivalent option for the Android, but even if there was, I would have forgone downloading it.
And the prices of the featured clothes and accessories - well those particular items were not shown with pricing, but a rough guess was that the entire ensemble was in the thousands. Certainly not in my price range. Still, this writer hopes that in the future, Ralph Lauren, and all others, will include QR codes in its advertisements. It's such a cheap and easy tool to use. And, kudos to the marketing staff at RL for publishing an app for the collection. It's much more fun to show your friends things that are already downloaded on a phone, rather than wait for good quality images to arrive over the Internet.
Note to the RL marketing staff - since you have an iPhone app for the Spring Collection, why not use a QR code in the ad as a link to the download page for that app? You know - give the customers some real instant gratification!!