Turns Out, Nobody Actually Likes QR Codes


QR codes started to gain traction in a pretty big way in 2011. Sadly, a company I was working for last year jumped on that bandwagon big time, and my business card sported a giant ugly blue QR code. Luckily, most of us have come to our senses, and that nonsense is slowly becoming less common.


According to Forrester Research (FORR), only 5 percent of Americans scanned a QR code between May and July of last year, the latest data available. “Advertisers are looking at every way possible that they can connect with consumers,” says Patti Freeman Evans, the analyst who edited the report. “Consumers aren’t saying, ‘Oh, I really want to be able to connect with companies and brands.’” As a result, advertisers’ “initial enthusiasm has tempered,” says Chia Chen, a senior vice president at the Publicis Group’s Boston-based Digitas. He estimates that 15 percent of his clients still use the codes. At WPP’s Possible Worldwide, less than a fifth of clients have shown any interest in the tags this year, says Anders Rosenquist, the agency’s director of emerging media. Both numbers are down, the firms say. Last year, Google halted a campaign in which it mailed QR-code stickers to retailers that would lead scanners to listings on the search company’s site for local businesses.

I went on record stating that QR codes are 1) dumb, 2) ugly, and 3) a fad. I think we can all agree that those opinions are validated in the bright daylight that is 2012. While QR codes may have uses in certain industries, marketing is NOT among them. Your customers shouldn’t be forced to look at that jumbled mess. Damn, that was annoying.

Source: BusinessWeek

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.