QR Code: Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery

Poster frame As a beer fan, I am always trying new pubs and tasting new beers. I was recently at the Pillager’s Pub in Greenwood (enjoying a Blood Orange Wit), when I came across this poster frame in the restroom.

I thought to myself, why is this poster frame empty and what is this tiny QR code doing on the empty frame.

So, I scanned it and was taken to the following site.

QR DestinationWhile the idea of a cooperative brewery sounded intriguing, the landing page was not optimized for use on a mobile device, making it difficult to navigate. Plus, the three large buttons (Own It, Craft It, and Drink It) went no where. After visiting the site on my computer the next day, I think the cooperative would benefit from a mobile site, if they continue to advertise in bar restrooms. A few items they should consider including could be who they are (since they are not well known), how to sign up to be apart of the co-op, and get those three buttons functioning or make them look less like buttons.

In class last week, I was given a few best practices in considering and implementing 2D codes, so I thought I would share them with my readers.

What can a 2D code do? They connect the physical and digital worlds. Standard uses for a code can take a user to a URL, send an SMS message, send an email or make a phone call.
Who is scanning them? 6.2% of US mobile users, 17% of smartphone users, 61% male, 53% are 18-34 years old, and 55% have household income of greater than $75k
When and where to use them? Use them when you want to capture impulse, augment an experience on printed material or for live events. They can also be used effectively on business cards, product packaging, flyers, posters, etc.
Appropriate use of a 2D code. Size does matter (Consider how close or far away will the user be from the code?), give the user a reason to scan to code, provide instructions on how to scan, also provide a SMS call to action for those who do not have smartphones.
How to fail.  Direct the user to a non-mobile URL, put QR in inappropriate places, and not testing the code.
How to be a winner! Direct to a mobile URL, add value to the experience, produced a good reason, testing the code on various devices at all stages of the process.
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9 comments on “QR Code: Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery

  1. Kim Sklar
    April 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Nice! You’re adless ad! How to spend virtually no money on a campaign. Step 1) Print a scan tag on a mailing label Step 2) poster around town. 🙂

    • michelleqianli
      April 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Yes! it’s such an easy step I feel like, but it’s really important where they put the QR code though. I think product packaging, flyers and posters are good places like what Amy mentioned in the post. In this particular case of brewery, the QR code is too small for me to notice.

  2. bizzyschorr
    April 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    I have to look it up again, but I remember seeing a promo for a marketing campaign that some car company did. They put QR codes on promo posters. Scanning the code led the user to download the app and looking at the poster with the app the poster explodes with video and special effects and turns looking at the poster into a really cool interactive experience. I could see something like this turning an empty frame into a really cool idea. Especially if the code had a short link so that you could put up new content without changing the code every time, you could produce updated content, maybe collectable badges in an app or something. There’s so much cool avante garde creative interaction you could do with an empty frame in a bar with a QR code! it’s so sad to see it wasted!

  3. Tim
    April 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi Amy – that is indeed very interesting! I’m Tim Dery, the current president of Flying Bike. We did some work with Pillager’s/Baron Brewing last fall, but I don’t know why that QR label was made and put in the bathroom at Pillager’s!
    You make an interesting point RE having a mobile site if you are using QR codes. We’re currently working on our website, but don’t have plans for a mobile site. Food for thought!

  4. Jeff Barber
    April 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I continue to be amazed by the high incidents of QR codes leading to non-mobile optimized web pages. I saw this when I was at AT&T and wonder if this happens a lot in other places too: nearly all of the ad hoc testing was done with recent model iPhones. Let’s face it, if you have an iPhone 3 or 4, or an equivalent Android device with OS 3.x, the non-optimized web pages are usable. Turn the device to landscape mode or a quick scissor move and you’re all good. 30 something and older cultural creatives are more likely to have iPhones and Apple products as well, and I’ll bet a lot of newbies with iPhones are designing all this stuff. My thoughts for the day…

  5. Karl Eckler
    April 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Nice post Amy! (and thanks for taking for taking great notes)

    I really like the idea of a QR code on an empty frame… both the marketing and art opportunities. Imagine: Scan the code to look at an Augmented Reality view of the picture frame… now with picture!

    And now that I have read all the other comments, I see that Bizzy beat me to this idea… which only proves how awesome it could be. 🙂

  6. rachaeldillboyer
    April 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Thanks for including notes on the blog post! That’s awesome. And yeah, the design was probably never usability tested, or they would have figured out that button thing real quick. I know that full-on usability testing is not really feasible for small sites, but just informally asking for honest opinions and reactions from people who aren’t connected with the project at all can really help widen the perspective. And at a minimum, small sites like that are often built on platforms that have a mobile plug-in or mobile enabled option. It’s better than nothing for sure.

  7. Kelly McIvor
    April 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    This seems like it could have been such a creative opportunity; turn the empty frame into a movie or moving image on the device. Too bad Flying Bike took, uh, flight before they knew about the landing.
    Amy, I really like your idea of using the code to capture an opt-in for an email newsletter; great way to try to show value.

  8. Ryan
    May 10, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Okay, okay, okay. We gave in! We just launched some updates to the Flying Bike website: mobile version included! It’s nothing fancy, but it should make the experience on a mobile device a bit better!

    Thanks for the ideas and the kick in the butt!

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