A company in Austin, Texas – Blue Marble – is starting to use QR codes in a novel approach to marketing and advertising. The company will place a QR code on top of buildings that will show up on Google Earth and Google Maps – taking approximately one year to show up. The service will cost $8,500 plus a recurring $200 support fee.
Although this marketing effort is a unique way to use emerging media and technology, it does not seem to be a viable advertising tactic. Blue Marble states that Google Earth is a popular phone application and that placing the code on buildings that show up on the app will allow users to receive rich content from it. This advertising effort most often will miss its target and additionally not even be recognized by consumers. Consumers will mostly ignore the codes because it doesn’t engage them and it’s placed in an area that they’re not expecting. The wait time for the QR code to show up on Google Earth and Maps will also prove to be a downfall for the unusual advertising approach. If QR codes do not catch on to the general public or even if their usage slows in the next year, a company will have paid almost $10,000 for a useless picture on top of their buildings.
This idea is innovative, but does innovation always mean achieving objectives or effectiveness? No. An ‘A’ for effort, but an ‘F’ for feasibility.