Portability is the thing for me

It is the start of the month and as usual I went to Waterstone’s on Boulevard Adolphe Max for my monthly stock of fashion magazines.

I was enjoying a glass of red wine while leafing through the pile* when my eye was attracted by this L’Oréal ad below. No, it was not the product itself that caught my attention (its creamy name had already conquered me – how about Baume Lavant Caresse) but the QR code** on the bottom left corner of the ad.

I knew about QR codes but never really got the opportunity to use them. Probably because I did not own a smartphone until recently.

In a few seconds, I downloaded a QR reader on my iPhone, scanned the QR code and was reading the application tips on their website. Good marketing? I don’t know how many people actually do scan those codes and read through. I know it works for me: it’s simple, fast and portable. It’s almost instant access to information I want through a simple link from a physical world object.

This ad was the only place in the 3 magazines where a QR code was used. But L’Oréal had this advert in all 3 of them ;-)

I hope to see more of those soon. I’d have loved to keep a tasty recipe from one of the magazines and a QR code would have been so handy instead of me getting up my sofa, going to my computer, surf the magazine’s website and hoping to find the recipe. I know, I’m so lazy ;-)

* You know, that first quick eye-scan to measure the potential of the issue, make mental notes on articles to come peruse later, bref, that scheme to delay the moment when you finished reading the magazine and have to wait for the next month’s issue ;-)

** QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes used to store any type of electronic docs (text, video, URL etc.). They can be read by any smartphone with a dedicated QR app. More about it on Wikipedia here.


4 Comments on “Portability is the thing for me”

  1. Dominik says:

    QR codes are pretty neat, I’d like to see more of these on food packaging or information boards for public transportation. The problem is they’re damn ugly and intrusive. Look at the l’Oréal ad. The QR code looks like a fist close to an eye. What would really be great is that the augmented reality apps get a tiny bit smarter, so that they recognize a lot more than they currently can. I guess you’ve heard about the Google’s Goggles. If not, take your smartphone and try looking through the Goggles at any mainstream product that you have handy, e.g. a bottle of l’Oréal shampoo if you happen to have one, or anything branded from your fridge. It should be able to recognize it and suggest links that will tell you more about it. Uber-cool, non-intrusive, but not yet super performant :)

    Anyway, as you noticed yourself, the target audience of fashion magazines is not exactly the same people that will go crazy for the latest electronic gadget, so QR, Goggles… whateva, we’ll be killing trees for some time still.


  2. cristuna I raced throughout Europe.. budapest hungry, talin etc .. 400m ..ur self ??

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