Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Could it be...a good example of a QR code? I'm as shocked as you are.

I'm normally pretty skeptical of QR codes. It's one of those digital fads which seems to have come out of nowhere, yet been embraced over-enthusiasticly by any company that wishes to appear cool and up-to-date.

The problem is, most companies don't seem to have grasped the basic requirements:

1. People need to be able to scan them with a phone
2. People will need internet access to connect to the page you are sending them to

This makes them wholly unsuitable for, say, an advert on the underground which regularly disappears behind a train, or a motorway hoarding. Some uses just seem absurd. There's no way I'm getting my phone out to scan a bananna (more of these ones on!

The QR code above, however, makes a bit more sense. The bit of card which allows me to remove a tabag already has a practical use, is branded on the other side, and therefore has a small square space which would otherwise be blank. Whilst you could try to write something on there, or stick a URL or Twitter handle, I think a QR code isn't a bad call really. If making a cuppa at home, you probably have time to investigate or if you have a takeaway tea like I did from Waitrose, it's an interesting 2 minute activity while drinking it (yes I still did feel a little silly scanning my tea, but pretended I was texting and hoped no-one noticed!).

The link goes through to a page about their tea selection, which is fine, but for me it would have been more appealing if it had some sort of gamification element, such as an offer, or hidden page that only the teabag QR code took me to. Nevertheless, I think Twinings should still be applauded as a case study for a good practical use of the QR code, where so many others are failing miserably to do so.

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