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Return of the QR Code

QR codes are not sexy. Designers aren’t clamoring to fit them into layouts. No one mourned the rise and apparent demise of these clunky blocks a decade ago. So how has the QR code staged a comeback? As our mobile devices and wireless bandwidth get better and better, so does the value and experience of QR codes. Throw in a global pandemic, and they now graduate from a convenience to a necessity.

Ten years ago, QR codes were equal parts novelty and hassle – and if you happened to scan the code, you were likely to be disappointed at where it sent you. Fast forward to present day, and QR codes are everywhere. Restaurants utilize them as hands-free menus. Beverage companies slap them on cans for additional content. Television ads work them in as a quicker and more convenient CTA. And they’ve even been projected into the sky like the bat signal.

QR codes aren’t just convenient – they’re smart. In the wake of the pandemic, the less you touch the better. My daughter’s daycare uses them for hands-free check-in. Venues use them as mobile tickets, and the list goes on. When used wisely and creatively, QR codes can also become an integral component of marketing.

Kittles recently launched their “QueeR Codes” campaign during pride month to highlight a variety of LGBTQ+ artists and creators. Museums across the country utilize QR codes to create a more engaging and personalized experience with augmented reality. The sheer convenience has helped nonprofits solicit donations and activate meaningful philanthropy.

At Ramey, almost all of our clients use them to engage with customers on a one-to-one level. Almost everyone has a smartphone. And if you have a smartphone, you’re just one scan away from endless content. The trick is making that content worthwhile. Our advice – use them to engage instead of sell. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and the brands that utilize QR codes properly will stand out from the crowd.

Sam Potesky, Senior Copywriter

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