QR Reviews: Think of Your QR Codes® as a Scavenger Hunt Your Customers Cash in On

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March 8, 2012

From cars to kids, my QR Code® scanning scavenger hunt this week leaves me more hopeful than last week’s swiping adventure. For the most part, I was taken to a landing page that nurtured me and piqued my interest in a future purchase –- well three out of four times at least.

Here’s where four advertiser QR Codes® took me this week.


The University of Kansas Hospital had me with the kids in sunglasses. While most hospital advertising features doctors and nurses in white or kids with casts and sad faces, this pediatric ad used child’s play to reel me in.

The ad had a cleanly placed QR Code® with plenty of white area around it to make the scan work the first time. The code took me to an equally well-designed generic URL (GURL) that matched the ad and provided a list of all the specialty services the Hospital provides to kids and links to even more information on those specialties. Nicely done and worthy of the tiara in the ad.

BIG DEAL – 4 Stars

Big Deal Kansas City is a knock off of GroupOn or Living Social, offering a deal a day at a substantial discount if enough people opt in to purchase the coupon. While the layout of the ad was underwhelming, with no rhyme or reason why they placed the QR Code® where it is, it did take me to a clear call to action to buy two for one concert tickets for an upcoming performance.

I wondered why Big Deal Kansas City was sticking to a two-color ad in a four-color magazine, perhaps they were going for a retro look but again it was underwhelming. I give them high marks for technical execution and driving readers to a clear offer. I suspect their ROI was fairly strong.


Looks and layout matter, as was the case of B/E Boutique, a high-end gown company for special event attire.  B/E Boutiques/ QR Code® looked “well styled” in the ad, not too gaudy and large like other ads I see. However, where the code led me was as disappointing as being stood up for prom.

Upon scanning the code, I expected to be enticed with more Bob Mackey worthy dresses, only to be taken to a subscriber box asking for my email with no further explanation or enticement. Not happening B/E Boutique. Throw me some cubic zirconias or reasons why because I rarely sign up when I’m on my laptop let alone on the fly swiping for more info. Give me something before you ask for my precious email address.


Mini Cooper’s German division ran a spot-on ad that matched its brand and image and led its prospects to pricing, location, and selection. Simple, but brilliant just like the car. You’ll note the QR Code® in the ad appears to have enough white space around it to make the scan technically executable.

Technically it should work, but not in the real world.  Mini Cooper’s American division gets three swats on the tailgate for being clever but clueless. Mini Cooper’s agency obviously did not test the ad before running it because upon scanning your smart phone gets confused both because the ad does not having enough white edge around the QR Code® and the wave in the magazine makes it not scan flat and go into an endless cycle of not being able to complete the scan.

The ad was supposed to take prospects to an iTunes download that enabled them to place a Mini Cooper anywhere they wanted: visualize

This month think of your QR Code® placements as a prospect scavenger hunt. Make it fun, make it match the original piece, and make what they find worth the search. it in their driveway, on top of a mountain, in a restaurant chair beside them. However, many readers may have given up before successfully getting to the download link and installing the app that the QR Code® was supposed to take them to. In short, a lot of money spent on a full-page magazine ad to leave the prospects with an incomplete experience.

Are you managing your cross-channel marketing efforts through testing and analytics? Hope so.

QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

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