QR Codes and TV Advertising

qr code, qr code reader, electronic business card managementQuick response codes (QR or QR codes) are the next “better mousetrap” now appearing in some TV advertising. The use of digital interactive technology to reach the viewing public via their smartphones is poised to leap quickly into the marketing plans of many advertisers. This segment of the viewing audience is also growing by leaps and bounds, bringing a huge target market to those advertisers. The major benefit of using this new technology is that consumers can interact with the advertising and access in-depth data about products or services just by scanning the codes. The advertiser can also obtain critical personal information about persons who use the codes. This information is then used to analyze the effectiveness of the ads, to generate sales information and to build a consumer database.

Quick response codes are perfect for the digital age. They are suddenly appearing on product packaging, print advertising, point-of-purchase displays, price tags, in videos and in television commercials. The actual QR codes look like a square box with a white background and many different sizes of small black squares. They are similar to a one dimensional barcode in looks. The major difference is that these are 2D images that can contain a much greater amount of information. They also allow immediate interaction between the viewers and the advertisers.

Consumers that have smartphones or iPhones and QR code readers are able to scan these codes and immediately open a Web page. They can scan the code to open and play video games, make an immediate purchase, place a call or save information to the phone. This technology was first developed and used in Japan and other parts of Asia in 1994. The recent growth in popularity of smartphones and digital technology in the West has now set the stage for rapid expansion of the use of these codes for advertising purposes.

Advertisers have discovered that they can tag their TV advertising with a QR code at the end. When viewers use smartphones with QR code readers to scan their code, those viewers are able to go immediately to a URL for that company to obtain more information or make a purchase with their smartphone. Codes are very cheap to generate and can be placed anywhere, including as part of a TV commercial. All the viewer needs to do is point their smartphone camera at the code to gain access.

The phenomenal growth of smartphone use in the United States is unparalleled; it is expected to be used by half of the population by the end of 2011, according to a Nielsen Company projection. TV commercials that use quick response image recognition technology are the future for advertisers that want to increase sales and website traffic. Some advertisers using QR codes in their TV advertisements are seeing a 50 percent increase in sales.

As always, a prompt to act is critical to obtaining advertising results. One company, Dynomighty, uses a slogan of “pause, scan, buy” to create the impulse for action when their code appears at the end of their TV advertising. Results are tracked with precision; the company gains information about users for their database. An advertiser can easily use these codes and interactive digital technology to increase sales and gather vast amounts of consumer data to use in future campaigns. Many television advertisers are jumping on this digital bandwagon for profit. Placing quick response codes in TV advertising is leading edge marketing.

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