QR Codes: The Next Big Thing For Mobile Advertising In India?

You must have seen something like this in a number of print advertisements, flyers or even on product packages. These are known as QR Codes and these could be the next big thing in mobile advertisement in India.

Possible uses of QR Codes : QR Codes add an element of engagement and interactivity to print ads and other static advertising mediums. It can also be used to provide more information about the brand or

It basically takes the brands communication to the next level. It is a fun experience for the consumer as well. A brand can use QR Codes to offer mCoupons (mobile discount coupons), lead to a webpage, offer information, and create a fan base and many other similar processes.

India specific challenges: Smartphone usage is slowly picking up in India, but it is still a fraction of the overall mobile handsets being used in the country. Add to this the fact that very smartphones have pre- installed QR Code Reader. Even if it is there very few users are aware of it.

Also smartphone usage varies a lot from age group-to-age group, in India:

  1. The 15-24 years age group use smartphones for 3+ hours in a day.
  2. It drops to 2 hours in case of the 31+ age group.

What brands need to keep in mind before implementing a QR Code campaign?

A user will be convinced about scanning a QR Code on his phone and spending extra money for a data plan, only if the process leads to “real” value addition.

A good example of an ad campaign which used QR Codes, but did not offer any real value addition to the consumer is Ford’s Figo advertisement. On scanning the code given in the ad, the user is led to a video advertisement of the car. The consumer could have watched the same on TV! Why would he want to spend money on a data plan for his smartphone or GPRS to access it? Instead providing a detailed online review or certain freebies would have been a better idea.

QR Codes are an innovative way for brands to communicate with their target market. It needs to be implemented in a fun way and should result in excellent user experience.


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