QR Codes

Clear Channel Outdoor Rolls Out New Mobile Platform ‘Connect’

New York-based Clear Channel Outdoor is bringing its global interactive mobile advertising platform Connect, which uses NFC tags or QR codes on advertising panels at pedestrian-accessible sites, to U.S. markets this June. The platform, called Connect, has already rolled out in several countries and will launch in the U.S. in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in June.

This Agency Helped Ford Put QR Codes on All of Its Window Stickers

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More Than 200 Retailers Have Been Targeted By Patent Trolls

There’s reason to be optimistic that before the end of the year Washington will put patent trolls in their place. In the last few weeks, the push for reform has gained momentum in Congress, with five bills being introduced or circulated in a rare show of bicameral and bipartisan support.

Organic’s Thomas Says Context Is King When Analyzing Data

As one of marketing’s first digital agencies, Organic is credited with creating the industry’s first banner ad in 1994.

Tattoo Studio’s Brilliant Help-Wanted Ad Makes Applicants Carefully Fill In a QR Code

Once in a blue moon, an ad using a QR code somehow manages not to suck. We had the Guinness QR cup. There was also the shadow-activated QR code from Korea. And now we have this awesome ad from Turkey from a tattoo studio seeking new tattoo artists. The ad in effect becomes the first step of the interview process—applicants must display their drawing skills by filling in the QR code that's faintly visible on the ad. Those who filled in the code perfectly could scan it to receive the official application form by email. Great work by BÜRO in Istanbul. See the full print ad below. Via Hello You Creatives.

Facebook Ties Offers With Ads

When Rosetta Stone bundled a recent Facebook Offers campaign with an ad buy on the social network, the language-learning company saw a better return than its paid search campaign on Google.

Taco Bell Whips Up QR Codes From Lemons, Avocados

Taco Bell has just launched a new Cantina Bell menu, partnering with chef Lorena Garcia to create gourmet-inspired bowls and burritos featuring new ingredients for Taco Bell (including whole black beans; cilantro rice; all-white meat chicken in a citrus and herb marinade; guacamole made with Hass avocados; fire-roasted corn salsa; creamy cilantro dressing; and pico de gallo). As part of the launch, Draftfcb Orange County created print ads that broke this week in People and Us Weekly featuring QR codes made from fresh lemons and avocados. The codes link through to platefuls of information about the new menu and about Garcia (who was featured on NBC's America's Next Great Restaurant and will be on the new season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters later this summer). Critics will grouse that QR codes themselves are a bit of a lemon. But used in innovative ways, they can occasionally be appetitizing.

Welsh Village Covers Itself in QR Codes, Linked to Wikipedia, in Tourism Effort

We recently considered the heretofore blasphemous notion that QR codes are not, in all instances, a complete waste of time. Here's more evidence that they can sometimes be interesting and useful—the Monmouthpedia project. The town of Monmouth in Wales (pop. 8,877) recently embarked on the "Monmouthpedia" project—a huge communal six-month initiative to affix QR codes to its notable landmarks, organizations and even people, and write Wikipedia entries on each of them, which the codes link to. The idea came from a TEDx talk in Bristol, where a Wikipedia editor suggested that Wikimedia's U.K. chapter should "do a whole town" using QR codes. Residents and businesses in Monmouth stepped up, did all the legwork (there are more than 1,000 QR codes in total), and introduced Monmouthpedia this weekend. The advantages for tourism are obvious. It's like a giant museum tour—everything of note in the town is immediately illuminated online. (Plus, of course, there's the publicity of the whole project itself.) "Lest you think this is a passing interest, the town of Monmouth is in it for the long haul," says a Wikimedia blog entry about the project. "Many of the QRpedia codes are printed on ceramic plaques that should last for decades. The information in articles is backed by the Wikipedia community and will be continually improved and expanded. Physical guides and maps will become outdated, but the Wikipedia articles will always be able to be updated. This potential for on-site access to up-to-date information in any language is what makes the Monmouthpedia model so exciting." I'll drink a QR-coded Guinness to that. More images after the jump. Via PSFK.

Guinness QR Cup Reveals Scannable Code When Full

QR codes have been exhibiting an uncharacteristic characteristic lately—they've been not sucking as much. We had the Korean retailer's 3-D sunlight-activated QR code, which was scannable only at lunch, when the shadows lined up. Now, we have this Guinness QR code on a beer glass, dreamed up by BBDO New York. It's literally activated by the product—you pour a Guinness into the glass, and the beer's black color fills out the code. (Those inferior amber-colored beers are useless here.) Scan the code with your smartphone, and it "tweets about your pint, updates your Facebook status, checks you in via Foursquare, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join you, and even launches exclusive Guinness content." In a pinch, it might even send out an SOS signal if you happen to be stuck on the Guinness submarine. More images after the jump. Via @TheSmarmyBum.

Shadow-Activated QR Code Actually Useful and Cool

For all the talk of mobile-marketing tech, there remains a pretty wide gap between the potential and the practicality of QR codes. That's why it's nice to see this case study from Korea, where a retailer increased lunchtime sales by 25 percent with a shadow-based QR code that's only scannable in the middle of the day.