Use QR Codes for the Holidays

Snowman_Car2d_for_D._daCosta-Poe_and_L._daCosta-2Last year during the holidays we saw QR codes being introduced in creative marketing strategies from big names like Target.  Kids could grab their parents' iPhone while they flipped through the toy catalog, and scan QR codes to see videos and pictures of their favorite toys. This year it is hard to flip through a magazine or flyer without seeing some version of a 2D bar code.

If you are still scrambling to send holiday gifts, cards, or wishes, why not make use of QR codes or another form of 2D codes to spread your own holiday cheer?  The past year has seen an increase in the number of people with smartphones,  as well as QR code generators that allow anyone to make their own codes.  Why not take advantage of this technology and find a fun new way let people know how significant they are, and impress them with your creativity at the same time?

Our friend Bret DaCosta (who, we are excited to announce, will be featuring a “Tag of the Week” on starting this Saturday), is an artist who sees Microsoft Tag as his blank sheet.  He recently designed a Snowman Car2d (pictured left), that anyone can use for the holidays.  You can either send the Tag electronically or print it out as an actual greeting card to mail to friends and family.  When the Tag is scanned, it resolves to a YouTube video of the song, “Its the most wonderful time of the year.”

The Snowman Car2D can also be effectively used by businesses and realtors that serve specific locales.  Since Microsoft Tag allows for real-time location, you can opt to have the Car2D customized for by zip code, so that anyone scanning it within a certain distance of your reserved zip code will receive a personalized message from your business.

2D bar codes, or QR codes, can also make things like a boring old gift tag come to life.  JC Penney is offering “Santa Tags” to anyone buying gifts at their stores.  The Santa Tags feature a QR code which the buyer scans to record a voice message up to 60 seconds long.  The buyer attaches the tag to the gift, and when the recipient receives the gift and scans the QR code they will hear the recorded voice message.  This is a simple but creative perk, giving  customers a unique way of connecting with loved ones over long distances, or just adding a personal touch to their gifts.

Holiday cards and holiday décor featuring QR codes can also be found for purchase, such as the artwork designed by Colorelish and sold on Etsy.  Buy ColoRelish_Holiday_QR_codescolorful, framed QR code art that resolves to a personalized holiday message for anyone who scans it; or, buy festive QR coded cards to send to friends and family.  (Image, right - used with permission from Colorelish.)

Of course, there are a number of free QR code generators on the Internet, which anyone can use to make their own codes, embedding text, URL, videos, and more into the code.  The QR codes are easy to save and print, send in an email, or share on social media sites like Facebook.  The possibilities are endless. Wrap a present with QR coded wrapping paper, or transform your traditional cards or gift tags into an interactive experience for the recipients.  Why not start a family tradition and each year create an ornament equipped with a QR code that resolves to a family holiday video clip from that year?

So, be creative.  Comment below and let us know how you are using QR codes for holiday fun with your family, friends, or your business.

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