While we are happy to see many large corporations implementing or attempt to implement QR Codes into their marketing campaigns, this is something that we need to say - there are failures out there. We should not be discouraged with the said failures and instead choose to learn from them and be more mindful about how we can make a QR Code campaign a more successful one.
One prime example of a QR Code failure would be the one done by The Washington Redskins. Without disrespect, we strongly suggest that the marketing team for Redskins note the mistakes related to their recent Super Bowl promotion.
It is fantastic that they have a Facebook and Twitter page...it's fabulous too that they put up a nice QR Code on the page to encourage people to visit their official website via mobile phone. Good attempts but here is what they should have thought about.
You need to create a QR Code that is universally readable. It is frustrating for mobile phone users to actually get excited about trying out the new QR Code, load the reader up in anticipation (probably waiting to show it off to some girl he wants to impress) and find out that he needs a proprietary reader to scan the code. After multiple tries, this mobile phone user will end up either cursing the phone, the reader or the organizers.
There is always a need to point non-tech people in the right direction, just in case the QR Code doesn't work out or if there is someone who is interested in finding out what the code is about but does not own a smart phone. It doesn't take much to place a short instruction or an accompanying website URL beside or below the QR Code. Going techy is good, but don't forget the ones who are interested but do not own a smart phone yet.
QR Codes aim to interact and connect users and marketers; hence, it is the perfect time to have a call-to-action at the end of it all. Like, get them to provide a review, a comment, join a contest, download a coupon or watch a video. Give them something to do or something that benefits them. They made the effort to scan the QR Code and they need to know that the effort wasn't a waste of time.
If the QR Code does not work on all smart phones, android phones or readers, please indicate the readers or phones that work. This way, you don't annoy people unnecessarily.