Ben C. Roth, Vice President of Creative, George P. Johnson, Co. speaks to ABC Nightline host, Bill Weir, about QR Codes on the Yahoo! News blog, “This Could Be Big”

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Ben C. Roth, Vice President of Creative, George P. Johnson, Co. speaks to ABC Nightline host, Bill Weir, about QR Codes on the Yahoo! News blog, “This Could Be Big”

QR code represents a sort of ‘universal digital language’ that can trigger the same user responses whether it’s used in Tokyo, Bangalore, New York City...

Ben C. Roth, Vice President of Creative, George P. Johnson, Co. speaks to ABC Nightline host, Bill Weir, about QR Codes on the Yahoo! News blog, “This Could Be Big”

The questions that pop into people’s minds when they encounter QR codes are often “What the heck is that?” and “Why should I care?” ABC’s Bill Weir poses those questions to Ben C. Roth, VP of Creative, George P. Johnson, Co. on his video blog for ABC News on Yahoo.com, This Could Be Big. Furthermore, inquires Weir, “How are businesses making the most of this technology?”

“QR codes undoubtedly have their shortcomings like any digital engagement tactic,” states Roth, “But current shortcomings can frequently be attributed to how they’re deployed and the degree to which the purveyor has built a truly unique and special offer around them – something ‘reward enough’ for users to have taken the time to scan the QR code, follow the linked materials, and ingest the offer. If the offer proves worthwhile, the QR code is heralded as a miracle technology. If not, it’s written off as high-tech trickery.”

“QR codes have proven valuable to businesses for numerous reasons – some of which border on the insanely simple when you understand human behavior,” claims Roth. “Just like any recognizable icon or logo (like the Nike Swoosh, or Apple’s eponymous logo) when a QR code is placed prominently on an ad, even if consumers never scan it, the ad can garner more and longer attention than it would had there not been a QR code on it. Today, a QR code represents a sort of ‘universal digital language’ that can trigger the same user responses whether it’s used in Tokyo, Bangalore, New York City, or practically anywhere else in the world. So it’s important to see QR codes both as potential ‘gateways’ to myriad types of consumer interaction, as well as nifty techno behavior triggers emblematic of our digital age.”

As Bill Weir states in the interview, often QR codes are treated as gratuitous and overly accessible tech manipulations when used carelessly as links to redundant information, or to ‘lame offers.’ And, Bill ponders if QR codes are obsolete should in fact users just want to enhance their general web searches by using new types of image recognition software, like Google Goggle.

“QR code readers, like the app QRReader, and image recognition based search tools like Google Goggle serve different purposes today,” continues Roth. “Where QR code readers help users quickly drill into offers, initiate phone calls, play videos, send SMS messages, create calendar events, provide geographical coordinates, among other things, apps like Google Goggle provide smart phone users enhanced, real world web searches through the use of built-in cameras. The result of a Goggle-based search is not unlike that from a text based Google variation – just a bit more entertaining.”

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