• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

QR Codes

At one point everyone was talking about QR codes and you saw them everywhere from newspapers to posters. But i've realised there are less and less of them around.
What are your thoughts on them? Do you think they are effective piece of marketing or not?
They'd be effective if people stopped using them poorly.

Instances of bad use? On a subway / underground ad - no signal - no use.

What they lead you to - there is no point having it as a 'replacement' for just typing a url it is sitting next to. It has to lead to engaging mobile content, or at the very least a mobile optimised site.

People executing them poorly is just killing them across the board - people generally don't bother with them unless there is some 'reward' for using them.
Example attached I did for one QR Code job - Revolution Vodka Bars - the QR code led to a lil saying, that when repeated to the barstaff, got a certain drinks promo. The qr code destination was changed a number of times over the course of the night to keep people engaged and checking it.



Senior Member
The trouble with QR codes is that they are inherently ugly. You can push them to an extent, as I did with the example below, but there still ugly lil buggers. As the above post notes, another problem is that they are frequently used redundantly, a good example of this is QR codes on business cards that lead to the same URL that is printed next to the QR code!

I think they where/are a bit of a flash in the pan, Augmented Reality in posters and other media will become a big thing i think

Take a look at these vids:




I had to put a QR code on a To Let Sign yesterday... all it did was go to the webpage on their site advertising that property...

I don't see the point of QR codes at all personally...
I use one on my business card. I use it as a conversation piece. The front has my eye illustration and the code. The back has my details (minus the website URL because it's redundant - I figure they can tell from my email what my domain is). I pin the front side on community pin boards. They can scan without taking the card. Also, if I happened to win a lunch drawing (where they have the drop your card for businesses and then feature the card they pulled), people could quickly scan it if they were interested.

If you are going to use them, use a trackable URL.
My client supplied me with a QR code and then I went back asking if it was trackable. When they said no, I suggested bit.ly (which they used already for URL shortening). It doesn't hurt, and makes you sound more knowledgeable, to ask the client.


True, I was supplied this by a digital agency in London, so they should know what they're doing :) LOL.


Active Member
QR codes are a technology that desperately wants our attention.The technology behind QR codes was not invented for advertising and marketing - we are just co-opting its usage, and it shows.From the relative lack of public understanding of what they even are, to the dearth of creativity in their usage, the QR code is destined to become just the little box that geek built. Just another design fad that very few consumers are really interested apart from trendy marketeers. Is the effort required to read a QR code really worth the result? I doubt it. One potential drawback to QR codes maybe that not enough people are aware of what they are and what to do with them. That lack of awareness will surely consign it to the creative dustbin in time. Another issue is that the ability to use QR code technology is limited by whether or not a consumer has a smart phone or a cell phone equipped with a camera and can really really be bothered to faff around to scan and digest web information on a itsy bitsy smartphone. The Ad World is littered with technological fails because it doesn't understand the true consumer mind or personality. Do you really think the person walking past a Hienz Tomato sauce poster outside Tesco's is going to be that stimulated to whip out the smartphone, scan, wait for connection, just to get information she already has a handle on?


Staff member
Berry said:
the QR code is destined to become just the little box that geek built.
Nah that would be microsofts 'tag'... basically a colour version of the qr code.
QR codes will be around for a LONG time in my opinion or at least until nfc becomes a cheap enough and readily available option, hell my dad, the least techy person in the world, knows what you do with a qr code... shame he doesn't have a phone that actually does it lol
Yeah. There have been many times I have seen them just casually thrown in to look like they are up to date with technology... (I was guilty of this..) but I think they will die out... I think with potential like google being able to take any image and search it there is no real limitation to taking an icon/logo/number etc and registering it as a 'qr' code which would link the user to whatever the link would be...


Staff member
Tony Hardy said:
Are they easy to make? Not a clue how it's done to be honest!
yeah, basically go to a site like this, stick in the required info and a pattern is made. Save and apply where necessary.
Yeah, and if they need to be scaled up or down (if they are not vector that is) then in PS the image size > nearest neighbor > double/half the size - just so the quality is still perfect.

Tony Hardy

That's fairly good like. I've seen people offering different colour versions and things before. How is that done?