The Prevalence of 2-Dimensional Codes, or QR Codes

Louise Message QR CodeHave you noticed the black and white hieroglyphic squares featured in newspapers, magazines, on window ads, at busstops, on the internet and on television,and wondered, “What are those?”

They’re called, “QR codes.” QR codes are like bar codes, except instead of go just one direction – horizonal – the code runs vertical AND horizontal!

QR codes are ideal to supplement flat ads in this age of mobile devices, because they can be scanned or photograhed by a smartphone. Then, with the help of a QR Reader, the embedded information in the code can be translated to content such as more text, an address, a coupon, a phone number, or even a video! Therefore, they supply an easy means to supplement an ad or an announcement. Just scan the QR code, and using an app, open the video or the text info , or url or picture on your device.

I like this method! Instead of overwhelming the viewer with too much info, the neat, square hieroglyphic can supplement the ad if the viewer would like to learn more, without crowding the space of the original ad. For instance, viewing a poster inside the window of a record shop, one can scan the hieroglyphic square pictured within an ad for a band or event, and open a music video which represents the event – neat!!!

It adds lots of depth and context to information viewed on a 2-dimensional format that way!

“QR” stands for “Quick Response.” Another name for QR code is, “2 Dimensional” code, because the square is flat and runs in two dimensions. QR Code is a specific code invented by Denso Wave of Japan and released in 1994. Really, the term, “QR Code,” should appear with the trademark mark next to it, as in: QR Code®. QR codes have been around for some time, and are especially visible and in use in Japan and Europe. QR codes are taking longer to catch on in the US.

There are other 2 dimensional codes affiliated with different companies, such as the Maxi Code used by UPS; in the US. 2 Dimensional codes have the added benefit of storing several hundred times the amount of data of ordinary barcodes, because of its Vertical/Horizontal integration.

QR code Ideal for Information-Rich Tech Age

QR code is ideal for our information-rich, tech age! For instance, this ad is typical of what you would see in high-end magazine, in this case: Building Design & Construction. This ad is for Dorma, which supplies locks, exits, low energy operators, sliding door hardware, and electronic access control, which are best demonstrated by video. The 2-dimensional ad is nice enough, with neat graphics and pictures of the product. However, the viewer is invited to dig deeper with the qr ad, scanning it on his smartphone to watch a video which introduces the company and showcases a couple products. It’s rich communication, contained in a simple print ad.

Win an iPad by Scanning QR Code on a Receipt

Taco Bell is applying marketing innovation to get feedback on the in-store experience by offering a chance at an iPad 2 using qr code. This is the first, where I have observed a qr code on the back of a receipt, along with a website – – specially set up to receive customer feedback via questionnaire. Therefore there are 3 options to submit feedback to TacoBell on your user experience, as outlined on the back of your Taco Bell receipt: text a number, visit the website, or scan the qr code with your mobile. The latter allows you to leave feedback via your mobile while you are automatically entered to win an iPad.


  1. Paula says:

    Thanks so much for this article! Had a client ask me about it yesterday and your write up is clear, concise and helpful to understanding the concept!

  2. Louise says:

    Thanx for positive feedback! :)

  3. Thomas, Tyrone says:

    The Taco Loco is absolutely delicious…

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