Masahiro Hara invented the QR code in 1994 when he worked for Denso Wave, a Japanese corporation, to track automobiles and their parts and allow high-speed scanning during manufacturing. Little did he know that his invention would lead to the evolution of new trends in the digital marketing industry in the next three decades.
According to a US-based Statista survey, 59% of respondents believe that QR codes will be a permanent part of their smartphones in the future.
From opening up product information, restaurant menus, business cards, social media profiles or websites to making cashless payments - there is little that this 2D barcode type can’t do for you!
Here's a fresh, brainy and quirky take on how the QR codes are being reinvented!
When QR met AR
Recently, an award-winning director used a QR code to bring alive a dress she was wearing with augmented reality (AR). The QR code in her earrings took the scanner to an Instagram filter that brought her dress alive in ways unimaginable by connecting the AR filter with an image.
The director, Karen X, said she wanted to integrate the design of the AR experience into the physical dress itself and the human body (hence the mechanical heart and lungs underneath).
Creating phygital experience
Zoo Frankfurt turned a print advertisement into a 3D mini-aquarium for all its readers! The ad was an initiative by the zoo to show them what they were missing by not visiting and invite them to see the amazing water creatures. They called it a ‘holoquarium’.
Although the video has since been removed, you can still take a glimpse here.
All the readers needed was a smartphone to scan the QR code in the ad, fold the plastic foil (available in the zoo’s magazine) into a pyramid, and keep it upside down on the phone. The code brought to life many underwater species as tiny holograms.
According to Bitly, ever since the pandemic hit the world, there has been a 750% increase in QR code downloads.
But is pandemic the only reason for the QR code’s popularity? Let’s find out with Brainy Gai.
Soaring popularity of QR
Apart from the pandemic, many factors promoted the use of QR codes. The most significant one being the tremendous accessibility of the internet to the masses. The QR code scanning ability of the smartphone camera has made third-party applications redundant.
QR Code Supremacy
According to the experts, these little checkered boxes are here to stay.
Based on QRTIGER’s data, India ranks second with 16.1% of scanning activities in the first quarter of 2022, following the US at 42.2%.
Let us explore how people and marketers alike are having fun with the capabilities of QR codes with Quirky Gai!
Inking the code
Call him bizarre or not - he doesn’t care. An Italian tattoo artist went viral in August 2021 for tattooing a QR code on his arm that led to his covid vaccination certificate. He looked at it as a solution to avoid carrying the certificate copy. See here.
Dunzo’s brand personality is loved by the netizens. And why not! Their quirky way of welcoming people to the city - students, employees, tourists et al - and familiarising them with the local slang and food recommendations reinforced the love people have for them.
Boosting social media and brand merchandise
April 2022 saw UFC Football jerseys flaunting customised QR codes leading to players’ social media platforms and branded merch!
Packaging it together
In 2011, Taco Bell used co-branded packaging to promote a partnership with MTV via QR codes.
With innumerable use-cases, the future of QR codes seems bright! Have you upgraded yet?
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