QR must have had one of the longest gestation periods of any technology.
Started in Japan in the mid-nineties, they were initially popular with the countries NTT DoCoMo mobile carrier, but then never quite took off until they were baked into the cameras of iOS and Android.
Recently, however, practices like contactless ordering from restaurant menus have seen QR codes become even more popular, and a clutch of companies has been trying to embed them in TV shows, too.
“Brands and businesses want direct connections with their consumers and consumers want to have those direct connections directly with those brands and content providers,” says Norton, a former ad sales exec with Tribune Broadcasting, Google and AOL.
“We’ve seen a lot of traction with TV networks, publishers out of home, and then even individual brands and businesses who are looking to make the connection from, you know, some sort of physical consumer experience to digital assets that they may have.
“QR codes have become ubiquitous. As the world has moved to this contactless environment, the opportunity for brands and businesses to create an enhanced consumer experience through the universal scan on both iOS and Android devices.”
Cracking the code
Use of QR codes inside TV ads or overlaid on TV shows is one way broadcasters hope to give advertisers a method with which viewers can easily open a mobile web link for messages seen on TV.
That is a practice that has been around for several years now. But Flowcode is working hard to introduce easy-to-create code images that don’t expire, can have custom appearances and can be placed on a multitude of different destinations. It provides templates for a range of on-screen placements.
One of them is Good Morning America’s “Deals And Steals” slot, which is using Flowcodes to let viewers see product listings for featured items.
“We work with a number of local networks and sports regional sports networks as well for individual games, whether that be NBA or, or MLB,” Norton adds.”
Norton says Flowcodes now wants to position itself as more than just a QR code enabler – rather, a provider of attribution data to advertisers.
“We’ve already seen scans from over 130 countries, all 50 states,” he says. “We’re working with tens of thousands of creators on a regular basis.
“We will continue to focus on the scale and scope of different creators. That could be a church or an individual proprietor with a small business all the way up to the largest of fortune 100 companies and everything in between
“If a brand is doing a direct mail campaign or a print campaign, and they want to test an offer or a call to action or creative, we can create unique codes that the brand or business can then look back and say ‘Okay, well, we know that 20%-off resonated at a much higher rate than free-shipping’ and, therefore, giving that publisher or client and opportunity to optimise towards the better performing messaging.”