The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Maybe the ‘QR’ in QR Codes, no longer means ‘Quite Rubbish’ …
November 13, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

OK, so I’m a sentimental fool but maybe this is the first time I’ve seen a real use for QR codes.

Have a look at this:

Yes, yes … I know it’s nothing new and there are arguably a bunch of flaws with it [from who would use it to people maybe missing the code when they get a parcel so not getting the message] however I still like it. A lot.

You see while it’s easy to find faults with it, the fact of the matter is the idea driving it is very appealing to gift givers – especially those gift givers who have family and friends living far away from them.

Sure, they may never actually end up recording a video, but that doesn’t mean they won’t seek it out because the concept appeals directly to their ‘romantic notion’ of love, friendship and sharing.

The thing is, this idea has – in theory – been around for years yet no one saw it or thought of it. Instead, the industry, me most definitely included, liked to pile shit on QR Codes, just like we enjoy laughing when someone says [for the 10th year running] “this is the year of mobile”.

However one person didn’t subscribe to this collective ridicule.

Instead he/she/it looked at QR Codes and wondered what would happen if they reframed the benefit to a particular audience segment and launched it around Christmas time and the result of that is they’ve come up with an idea that positively differentiates Australia Post from the competition [and I include ‘Amazon’ in that] and raises the overall appeal and value of the brand as a whole.

Simple. Effective. Powerful. Bloody awesome.

Actually there’s something even more awesome than that, an ad agency – BBDO Melbourne – came up with it.

Yes, they came up with a real solution and then advertised it to the masses rather than saying the answer was the ad.

[If you can’t be arsed to sit through the video I’ve linked to in the above sentence – though for the record, it’s what I say at 8 minutes that is key – you can just go here for another example]

Not hard is it.

So well done Australia Post and BBDO Melbourne.

Sure, there’s a lot of people looking at the faults, but the fact is you have done something creative that can directly influence change of behaviour and brand value [both emotionally and commercially] which in my opinion, is much more worthy of praise than adlands obsession with the admittedly good [but not nearly as good as the near mythical status it has had bestowed upon it] Dumb Ways To Die.


35 Comments so far
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Nice idea. I don’t know how many people will end up using it but it certainly has strong emotional appeal, at least over the festive season.

Comment by Pete

youre so fucking earnest at times pete. wheres the argumentative bastard of a few fucking days ago? he was much better.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is brilliant. I can buy an envelope, attach a video message and post it to the family. That’s my christmas presents sorted and it’s cheaper and more personalized than the cost of a shit hallmark card.

Comment by DH

Remind me David, are you still single?

Comment by George

When you add in the cost to fly to Australia to get the envelope, it might not end up being as cheap as you think DH.

Comment by Pete

Mr Generous.

Comment by Rob

What does “the year of the mobile” even mean? Is it like those pointless “year of the teenager” type campaigns that we get told about on Jan 1?

Comment by DH

it means campbell has another excuse to buy another piece of tech bullshit for “research”. hes got more phones than a south london drug dealer.

Comment by andy@cynic

Is that the justification for all your tech crap Rob? It appealed to your romantic notion of owning a lot of tech crap? Poor Jill.

Comment by DH

the premise of this idea is fucking flawed. they are assuming people like some people enough to actually send them a fucking present. who the fuck are they kidding?

Comment by andy@cynic

So those beautiful presents my daughters receive every birthday and Christmas must come from another Andrew, is that what you are saying?

Comment by George

theyre commiseration presents for having you as their dad.

Comment by andy@cynic

I like the idea. It may have limited appeal and it may be more about enhancing an experience than solving a fundamental problem (though it may alleviate feelings of guilt with some people) but it is simple and emotionally effective. More importantly, as you state Robert, it’s another agency who understands the future of the industry is based around helping solve issues and then communicating those solutions as opposed to always shouting out brand and products names in more and more dramatic ways. Bravo to BBDO Melbourne.

Comment by George

you dont even fucking work in adland anymore. shouldnt you be talking about the future of algorithms or some other boring as fuck shit?

Comment by andy@cynic

That “boring as fuck algorithm shit”, enables you to get defined and refined searches on Youporn Andrew.

Comment by George

checkmate. fucker.

Comment by andy@cynic

George goes bad.

Comment by Rob

I like your point about ‘enhancing an experience’ rather than ‘solving a problem’. With the industry so fixated on being ‘business relevant’, sometimes we forget that there is an opportunity to build on strengths rather than just try and eradicate weakness.

Comment by Rob

I like it too and they present it in a better way than JC Penney’s tech-focussed version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EjVvvyLRfA

Comment by John

A point of difference that’s centred on the essence of their business rather than its functionality. And one that I think will be used more than the doubters above suggest

Comment by John

Me too. Yes we agree. That should alarm you.

Comment by Rob

get a fucking room.

Comment by andy@cynic

God, that video is one of the most unpleasant things I’ve ever seen. It’s supposed to be for Christmas … a time of peace, love and family … and they have executed it like a pop video from 1987.

As for the ‘Santa Tag’ … you’re right, it has no soul in it … but to be fair, they’re trying to present voice messages from Santa rather than family members, but still, it feels a lot of hard work for very little benefit – even if you’re an excited 3 year old.

Comment by Rob

You must have been wrapped up in the production values because it clearly shows the sender recording an insipid personalised message after the Santagram.

Comment by John

After 20 seconds I got brain raped and couldn’t take it any more. Your description of what I missed out on doesn’t make me think I missed out on anything.

Comment by Rob

Typical adman. All the more annoying because I hadn’t watched the whole thing until you commented.

Comment by John

Don’t lump him with the rest of us.

Comment by DH

by the way campbell, good fucking work kicking dumb way to die in the fucking balls. its nice but its not that fucking nice. the fucking amount of awards its had showered on it says a fuckload more about the state of adland than the brilliance of that campaign.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s a good point.

I do like it … and I think it deserves a lot of praise [and awards] for things like ‘craft’ … but it’s effectiveness is highly debatable, as is it’s fresh approach to integrated advertising, given it seems very similar to stuff that happened in the 70’s and 80’s, whether it was for a Marvel toy/cartoon character or a Coke campaign.

Comment by Rob

Its effectiveness is hardly debateable – a comparison of death rates will tell us whether it is or isn’t.

Comment by John

Fair point, but even then the comparison is ridiculed with variables which undermines any level of conclusive proof.

Comment by Rob

Huh. What other variables are you thinking of? Death rates pre campaign compared to death rates post campaign would seem to me to capture most of the causality in this situation – especially over a few years.

Comment by John

There are a lot of variables, from number of passengers year on year, number of trains running, times of trains running (more late Friday night than Sunday afternoon for example). Lots.

Comment by Rob

WTF have number of passengers got to do with anything – you think a full train is more lethal than an empty one? But even if there are variations in number of trains etc, those are variables that can easily be adjusted for. That’s basic regresion analysis.

Comment by John

I don’t care about your little spat but even I know that if 100 people travel on a train one year and 10 people die and then the next year 60 people travel on a train but 8 people die, the death percentage has risen even if the number of dead is less in volume. Just call me maths professor Dave.

Comment by DH




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