Posts tagged qr codes
Posts tagged qr codes
Quick tip: generate a QR code very simply using the Goo.gl URL shortener. Input your URL (with analytics data codes appended to the URL, if desired) and then add .qr to the end of the resulting short URL. Voila!
I imagine this could all be accessed programmatically as well, via goo.gl’s API, if you need to generate a lot of QR codes and don’t want to do it by hand…
HT Gregory Heller on an email listserve
But QR codes are very much alive as the stats below demonstrate. What really should die aren’t QR codes but the dumb ways agencies and brands try to use them…
Why QR campaigns fail
- Unreadable codes on billboards, too high up for people to get a clear scan; on ads in subways, where there is no cellphone reception for scans.
- QR codes in TV ads By time you run and get your phone, find the scanner, and try to take a shot, the ad’s over. Doh!
- No instructions. Not everyone knows what a QR code is and how to scan it. So it’s necessary to include clear and concise instructions that include the benefits of bothering to make the scan.
- Using a proprietary code so you need a specific type of QR readers to scan it. As if people would download a scanner just to read a code they don’t understand. Fail.
After writing this post on somone hacking QR codes, Hack A Day commenters came out in full force posting some really cool links about modifying QR codes to include a logo. I’ll fully admit I geeked out a little, but in the process I figured out some of the theory behind embedding logos in QR codes…
Like most people, I hate and fear new things. New things remind me of my mortality, and they require that I take time out from my busy schedule of home-brewing and watching reruns of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to learn how they work. As part of a large marketing organization, I see a lot of new things. They tend toward the shiny and jargony, and years of hype surrounding shiny new marketing things has left me pretty cynical. But I’m on board with QR codes as a worthwhile part of a larger marketing strategy for a number of reasons…
This Reporters Without Borders campaign is pretty brilliant. “Because there are mouths that will never speak the truth.”
Great example of the use of a QR code in combination with a print ad.
Reporters Without Borders published four different print ads. People were asked to scan the QR code at the bottom of the ad and place their iPhone on the mouth of the person. It isn’t the mouth of the person on the photo who speaks, but a journalist speaking about what is happening in Libya, Iran or Russia.
I was reading on Mizz Information about a pet peeve — brands who simply tell their customers (or in our case, nonprofits who tell their donors, volunteers, and constituents) to “Find us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter”:
You know the stupidest thing a brand or business can possibly tell consumers? “Find Us On Facebook.” Honestly—have they ever used Facebook? Do they know how shitty Facebook’s search functionality is? It’s basically the worst search ever…wait, unless you count Twitter, which is truly the worst search ever. So guess what? When brands say “Follow us on Twitter” they’re leading customers down an equally futile rabbit hole.
Agreed. The suggestion Maggie makes is to do the minimal work necessary to claim a custom URL at Facebook, to explicitly mention your Twitter account, and use a QR code in print campaigns, which are all fine suggestions.
Another possibility is to create custom subdomain URLs. We’ve set up facebook.cedc.org and twitter.cedc.org and linkedin.cedc.org for easy reference and to try to maintain some consistency (we couldn’t get matching usernames/URLs at each service). The subdomains just redirect to our relevant pages but are much easier to remember!
A few more items to throw onto the QR Code pile, from Erica Glasier. See the “Voir QR: The History, Use & Abuse of QR Codes” slideshow above (source) and the tips on how nonprofits might use them below (source, with additional ideas for other contexts).
The community-connected non-profit might link [a QR code]:
- to a donation page
- to an interactive map of your org’s work throughout your city
- to an augmented reality view of your city’s issues
- to sponsorship opportunities
- to a video of a successful user of your org’s services saying thanks
- from notable landmarks to informative videos of your city’s history
- to mobile updates on disaster situations
- to requests for supplies and volunteers
- to a petition
- to contact your government about an advocacy issue
- to a hotline providing hope
(Found via Handcraft Creative)
We’ve done annual reports in non-traditional formats before, but Kivi Leroux Miller highlights an interesting idea that we’ve not tried yet. She suggests doing the report as an oversized postcard. (The above mockup is a rough, fictitious example by Elissa Schloesser).
As Kivi explains:
- The small space forces you to think about what’s most important to say
- The postcard format practically requires some nice photography, which donors love
- People still read postcards, even if standing over the recycling bin (if the photography is good enough, it will make it to a bulletin board instead)
- It’s much cheaper to design and mail than other direct mail formats
- Postcards couple nicely with emails for an integrated approach
I like it — and this might be a great opportunity to try out those QR codes that you’ve been playing with. (A QR code on the back of the postcard could link directly to a page on your site with further information, for example.)
More ideas for QR Codes and nonprofits:
1. In fundraising appeals.
2. In print newsletters.
3. At fundraising events – galas, marathons, etc.
4. On flyers and community billboards.
5. At protests.
6. At conferences.
7. At check-out lines.
8. On tabletops in restaurants.
9. In playbills.
10. In museum tour materials.
11. As scavenger hunts.
12. In city tours.
13. At concerts and sporting events.
14. For art walks.
15. At zoos, aquariums, and animal shelters.
16. In libraries.
17. At parks and outdoor recreation venues.
18. At church.
19. On college and university campuses.
20. At airports.
21. In window displays.
22. On t-shirts, mugs, pins, and business cards.