The Future of QR Codes. Will They Soon be a thing of the Past?

Within the past year, the popularity of QR codes have ramped up in recognition as technology increases and they are incorporated into packaging of products. Throughout our blog posts this year we have emphasized the use of QR codes in product promotions such as with General Mills and Budweiser. QR codes are great ways to for consumers to interact with products they love as well as presenting a way to simplify the lives of those who want to interact with their favorite brands.

Although many people are aware of QR codes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these things were meant to last as once initially thought. Having been an owner of a smart phone for quite some time, I have yet to interact with a product via QR codes. This lack of interaction piggy-backs on the findings of a recent study by comScore, which states that only 14 million American mobile device users have actually interacted with a QR code. In essence, less than 5% of the American public has scanned a QR code.

There can be many reasons that American’s having fully utilized QR codes to their full potential though. Inadequate technology, lack of education, and a perceived lack of value from QR codes are just some of the reasons mobile barcodes are not clicking with Americans.

One finding suggests that as humans, we are very apt to be drawn in by visuals, as is the case with packaging. It may be hard for QR codes to get any sort of reaction or emotion out of us. Perhaps in the future there will an a more visually appealing alternative to the QR code that will spark more interest and positive responses to the consumers.

So, if QR codes aren’t meant to last, what will take its place? It sounds like a new technological development is starting to show up and it is called mobile visual search (MVS). With MVS, all you need to do is simply point at a product or a logo with your smartphone’s built-in camera and shoot a picture. Within a few seconds of snapping the picture, the MVS will provide company and product information, or it may even presne the option to make a purchase of the product using your mobile device. MVS is already being used around the world and is starting see MVS pop up. For example, companies in Argentina and South Korea currently allow commuters waiting for subways or buses to view images of groceries or office supplies.

Check out the following link: 10 Funniest QR Code Fails

Source: Mashable

Budweiser Packaging Lets Consumers “Track Your Bud”

In 2012 we have been seeing more digital campaigns than ever, as was predicted in our earlier blogs this year (Mobile Marketing Trends to Look for in 2012), and the new Budweiser campaign is no exception. In the new campaign Budweiser hopes to interact with their consumers digitally and bring them to the inside world of Budweiser.

Budweiser, the iconic global beer brand, launched its “Track Your Bud,” digital campaign that is integrated with packaging with a QR code that will allow consumers to trace the origins of the beer they hold in their hands to one of Budweiser’s 12 U.S. breweries.

Consumers can use their Smartphone to scan the QR code on the packaging, which leads them to the downloading of the “Track Your Bud” app or they can visit TrackYourBud.com. From there, consumers can enter the Born On Date found on the bottles and cans that will take them on a guided tour of the making of their individual beer by the Budweiser location responsible for it.

The content on “Track Your Bud” app will provide beer drinkers with visibility into the source and selection of ingredients, Budweiser’s seven-step brewing process, when their beer began Beechwood aging and which brewmaster tasted it multiple times throughout its brew cycle to ensure their beer meets Budweiser’s high quality standard.

“People respect Budweiser for its heritage, full flavor and legendary consistency,” said Rob McCarthy, vice president, Budweiser.  “Budweiser has a great story, and we want to tell it in a new way that demonstrates the pride, passion and craftsmanship at our breweries that’s been the backbone of Budweiser for generations.”

The application is also now available on iTunes and will be on Android Market later this week. The social application allows consumers to connect via Facebook to connect beer drinkers from across the country through their Budweiser drinks as well as offering them access to exclusive video content.

“Track Your Bud” will showcase Budweiser’s state-of-the-art breweries other than the well-known location in St. Louis. Other breweries to be showcased include Merrimack, N.H.; Baldwinsville, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; Williamsburg, Va.; Cartersville, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; Fairfield, Calif.; and Los Angeles, Calif.

“There are a lot of great people behind every bottle of Budweiser, and ‘Track Your Bud’ gives our consumers a way to meet our brewmasters and see firsthand how passionate they are about making great beer,” said Jane Killebrew-Galeski, director of brewing, quality and innovation for Anheuser-Busch. “Because great beer starts with great ingredients, Track Your Bud also gives consumers insight into where Budweiser’s raw materials come from – which includes barley farms in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and hop farms in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Germany.”

“There’s a lot of attention to detail that goes into making Budweiser,” McCarthy said. “Track Your Bud gives consumers transparency into how and where the beer is made and the brewmasters responsible for it all. Budweiser is a national brand, obviously, but our geographically diverse network of breweries and agricultural facilities also make us a local beer in so many places all across America, thanks to the people who make our beer and grow the ingredients. Track Your Bud highlights some of those people.”

For more information about the new Budweiser “Track Your Bud” program, check out www.TrackYourBud.com or download the app.

ALSO, have you seen the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial that aired in Canada? If not, I would recommend watching it below:

 

 

5 Interesting and Creative USB Flash Drives

When working with flash drives, there are a lot of ways to customize the flash drive with your companies brand or make them your own, and these drives are no exception. Here are 5 crazy USB drives that we found while surfing the net.

Budweiser Beer-filled drive

With the popularity of flash drives on the rise, Budweiser couldn’t help but resist in creating their own promotional, customized USB device. Each promotional flash drive comes complete with a tiny drive filled with beer and white foam to cap it off. And although the amount of beer inside the drive probably isn’t enough to ensure a good time, it’s still a unique idea.

Swiss Army Knife drive

Victorinox recently unveiled a Swiss Army knife with a USB flash drive that holds up to 1 terabyte of data. USB knives have been in the companies line of products for a while, but this new and improved project  comes with new and improved features: it connects to eSATA II/III as well as USB 2.0/3.0 with a single connector, it has a monochrome graphic display showing what’s on the drive and it supports 256 AES encryption. Data transfer speeds are 220 MB/s for reading and 150 MB/s for writing data, and the available capacities range from 64 GB to a whopping 1 TB.

In classic fashion, the knife also includes a blade, scissors, nail file that includes a screwdriver tip and a LED/laser pointer. If you are a frequent traveler, no need to worry, the drive can be interchanged to be flight-friendly and can come without the sharp, pointy stuff.

Sushi Roll drive

What’s better than sushi? Better yet, what’s better than a USB drive shaped like sushi? If you love sushi, you’ll be sure to love these sushi themed drives

Teddy Bear drive

Normally when we picture a teddy bear, we think about its cuteness, but this teddy bear drive features what looks like a decapitated teddy bear as the device to store all of your data on.  It almost looks as though its head got jammed into the USB port.

This website even gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make your very own teddy bear USB drive. Teddy Bear USB Flash Drive (USBear?)

Thumb drive

It’s a little creepy how realistic these look, and some of these even include fingerprints!

Check out this bizarre story about a guy who has a prosthetic finger made out of a flash drive — Computer programmer from Finland has lost finger replaced with USB drive