October, 2011

Do Qr Codes Work? Depends On How You Use Them

For those who don’t know what QR codes are, they’re those images plastered all over all sorts of advertising that,

They work when you use them right.

when scanned by a smart phone, take the phone’s owner to a website or other online posting.

Some uses of QR codes are here to stay because they actually make people’s lives easier – like the ones that display your boarding pass on your smart phone to an airline ticket reader. Or like the Croatian national postal service’s new 3.10 Kuna stamp with a unique code that each letter-mailer can key in on a mobile site and track the letter’s progress toward delivery.

QR code use worldwide is growing. According to 3GVision research, use was up 20% from second to third quarter of this year alone.

But all too often, it’s also growing dumber. Read more →

It’s Ba-a-ack! Another Chance To Pick America’s 10 Worst Ads

There are only two problems with the annual Consumerist poll of the worst tv ads in America. One is that, by its parent organization, Consumer Reports‘ own admission, the poll is “completely unscientific.” Which brings us to problem number two, which is the reason it’s unscientific: Virtually all the voters are readers of Consumer Reports or visitors to its website, The Consumerist, which means people who aren’t exactly thrilled about the very idea of advertising to begin with.

Make your voice heard

As a normal consumer, with no axe to grind, you now have a chance to make your voice heard by voting for the worst tv commercial of 2011. You’ll have a less than total say, though, because (1) since it’s only October you’ll miss out on voting for (or against, as the case may be) the remainder of the year’s advertising – including a slew of holiday retail commercials, which are usually real stinkeroos and (2) your choices will be limited, because thousands of dyed-in-the-wool, Chevy Volt-driving, granola-eating consumerists have already chosen the finalists for you.

A funny thing happened on the way to the nominations

In reviewing all these entries on YouTube, one funny thing became apparent. Consumerists are not exactly typical of normal consumers.

They hated all of these commercials, but if you scroll down and look at the comments, you’ll see that most (buyt by no means all) of the comments, from regular people, are positive. Many people loved commercials or actors that the consumerists hated. Read more →