Three QR Codes® Answer More Than What Time Is It

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March 22, 2012

Like our phones, watches have become smart. They do more than tell the time.

Some run without batteries. Some never lose even a fraction of a second of time. Other watches include compasses and measure barometric pressure.

Curious as to how three high-end watches wooed customers to the counter through QR codes®, I scanned the quick response codes on Citizen’s, Casio’s, and Bulova’s print ads.



Much to my delight, the QR code® for the Citizen Eco-Drive watch led me to an interest video showing how it uses natural and artificial light to keep on ticking without the need of a battery or the hassle of replacing a battery. The video nicely reinforced the print ads message that Citizen Eco-Drive watches are unstoppable.

I also liked that Citizen put a five-word descriptor beneath the QR code® foreshadowing exactly what you would see or learn if you scanned the code:  Discover the Eco-Drive Technology.

The Pro Trek Casio watch is the iPhone of watches. I’m not a hiker and I’m not knocking through a list of 10,000 footers. However, if I were, I’d buy the solar-powered, atomic timekeeping Casio with an altimeter, barometer, and compass for $480. They sucked me in with their bells and whistles, making me a raving advocate through their well crafted ad and its QR code that led me down their tech path as easily as their watch would have led me up a mountain.

Casio’s QR code® led me to three photo hotlinks about the Pro Tek. The first link took me to the white sheet, which told me price and how to make my purchase. The second link took me to a journal about an 8-day cycling trip thanks to the aid of the Casio. Finally the third link took me to the Facebook page, which didn’t force me to “like” it to get in and read the raving testimonials. Thank you for the access and information.


The Bulova Precisionist makes some bold claims, according to watch collectors and enthusiasts – calling itself the most accurate watch with a continuously sweeping second hand. And because the Bulova brand has built a reputation as being prestigious and collectible, the marketers may have been a little arrogant and assumptive. The QR code® on Bulova’s ad, which clearly stated it was taking me to the Facebook page, led me there but wouldn’t let me see a thing unless I hit “like.” I didn’t like that and did not oblige.

I found it odd that the $500 watch, which looks like something you’d wear to a high-stakes poker game in a roped off area of Vegas or Donald Trump’s boardroom, featured a diver. The watch was not waterproof, but Bulova was trying to drive home its marketing message of “breaking through” with the diver. Bulova’s poor choice of imagery did not reinforce the functionality of its watch.

The winner of this week’s QR critic is Casio with the runner up being Citizen and the bronze to Bulova.

QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.


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