Looking around today you’ll often find QR codes on almost any product – they’ve grown immensely in popularity thanks to the widespread of smartphones and their ability to read these QR codes. The QR code originated in Japan, where it was created by Denso Wave Inc for use in car manufacturing plants to scan the car components at high speed.
Scanning a QR code gives instant and effortless access to a variety of information; you can store a website URL, contact details, addresses or even just display a message. The standard QR code looks very unattractive, and in all honesty, is very unlikely to be scanned. So companies have had to get a little creative with the way they use QR codes in order to entice people to want to scan their code and get access to the content on the other end.
Take a look at this selection of some of the most creative ways to use QR codes:
Edible QR Codes
This is a great way to get information out to people. Whether you’re marketing a product (who’s going to turn down a free cupcake?) or providing a convenient way for people to find out more information about the product they’re eating, or linking people to recipes or your own online store where they can purchase more of your food.
The possibilities are endless. You can buy QR cake and cookie kits that apparently make it super easy for you to create your own cakes and cookies with edible QR codes printed on them.
The Guinness QR Cup
This is another great example of exceptional QR code usage, as well as doing a great job of engaging with the consumer.
The QR code is only displayed on the cup when it’s filled with dark beer. When you scan the code with your smartphone, it will send a tweet about your pint, update your Facebook status, check you in on Foursquare, download coupons and promotions for Guinness, invites your friends to join you and even launches some exclusive Guinness content on your device! All with one quick scan of the QR code.
Pizza Digitale – The QR Code Pizza
This was another extremely effective use of QR codes on food. Scholz and Friends – who are one of the biggest agencies in Europe were looking for some new team members to join their digital creative group.
For 4 weeks they sent out a special ‘Pizza Digitale’ with all orders they received from an employee that worked for another agency. The QR code on the pizza linked directly to a page on Scholz and Friends website which gave information on the jobs available.
The campaign ended with the company gaining 12 job interviews and 2 new teams for their digital unit, so it was a success in their eyes!
Tesco Virtual QR Store
This one is not so much visually creative, but an awesome idea none-the-less. Tesco created this virtual QR store at an underground in South Korea, where commuters can do their shopping by using their smartphone and scanning QR codes from virtual products displayed on virtual isles. Watch the video below to see the virtual store in action.
I think it’s clear that QR codes are here to stay, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for them during 2013.
Author Bio: The author of this article has worked in design and marketing for over 10 years. He recommends that you use VisuaLead and their qr code generator for all of your QR code creations.