Mobile marketing: After many false starts, QR codes are finally taking off

Cereal boxes are, by and large, poor works of literature. Yet many people sit at breakfast reading them over and over again. Last year Kellogg’s realised it could make its packets more entertaining — and guessed that people also had their phones to hand (anything beats talking to the family). The cornflake-maker put 2D codes, better known as QR (for quick response) codes, on its Crunchy Nut boxes in America. When scanned, these took cereal-munchers to a video of dawn in, say, Washington state. The idea was to push cereal as an all-day snack: “It’s morning somewhere.”QR codes — squares of black-and-white patterns — have much to recommend them. They store far more information than plain, old bar codes. For example, they can fit in web addresses and logos. And they are cheap. They have been popular in Japan for years, but elsewhere have for a while been touted as the next big thing. (In 2009 this newspaper said they were “on the point of breaking out”.)To continue reading this report in The Economist, go to:
www.economist.com/node/21556993

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