An article in the Sunday paper spoke about bar and QR codes and the creative uses being seen today. QR codes allow creator to embed a web address into a two-dimensional bar code which can be scanned by a user’s smartphone. The code will take the user directly to a product or information via their phone. They are relatively easy to create. Websites like QR Code Generator allow you to create your own for free. Google has used the codes by providing a business with a window decal that has a QR code which will direct the user to the business’ Google Places listing. QR codes have been used by many other businesses in magazine and newspaper ads but I was looking for something done on a grander scale. Then I stumbled upon “This is Canada”.
“This is Canada” is an ad campaign done by the Canadian Tourism Commission, aimed at Americans, to promote, well…visiting Canada, of course. Cover sheets were folded around major newspapers (the Los Angeles Time, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune) that read in a web style format. The ad included multiple QR codes. Some QR codes sent the user to a video, such as a first person view of riding a zip line in Calgary. While others linked the user to website offering exclusive travel deals.
This seemed to be a highly creative use of QR codes that engaged the viewers and didn’t just tell them the benefits of the product. “This is Canada” tried to entertain the reader with what Canada had to offer.