Jumbo-sized interactive print applications also are being implemented by the Creative Impact Agency (CIA) of Sherman Oaks, CA, which maintains a pair of 44-inch Epson Stylus Pro 9880 high-end inkjet printers in house and also uses external print vendors. The firm has used QR codes on several projects for Six Flags Magic Mountain, reported IT director/account executive David Sanders. “We posted 4x4-foot QR code signs on a construction wall for a new ride,” Sanders explained. “By scanning the code, you were taken to a virtual [CGI] ride on the upcoming new ride.”
POP counter cards in hotel lobbies and in-room table tents also were part of the overall Season Pass Upgrade print campaign, which made it easy for people to “scan [the codes] and get tickets,” he said.
A similar strategy was used for DC Universe’s “Green Lantern” ride, where customized, over-sized QR codes were printed on an HP Scitex output device.
As savvy marketers know, directing QR scanners to websites that are not optimized for mobile devices is a source of frustration for users. After all, the last thing any integrated marketeer wants is for a prospect or customer to disengage upon reaching an inconvenient desktop site that’s too small to read or navigate. In the case of Apple’s iPhone, which does not support websites employing Adobe Flash, CIA uses a simple work-around: “We link to a YouTube site,” Sanders explained.
“We also posted QR code signs along a ride queue line linking to an online trailer for the new TV show Terra Nova,” he added. Riders waiting in line are a captive audience, and CIA took advantage by cross-promoting for different studios/clients.
As an encouraging side note to graphic designers, Sanders pointed out that the 2D codes don’t have to be “ugly.” (Many designers hate QR codes because they’re so unsightly—most of their clients don’t spend the effort, time, or money to make their codes look prettier.) It’s all about grayscale and contrast, he noted. For example, CIA’s Terra Nova code incorporates a dinosaur image in the background, while a Green Lantern image element was embedded in to the DC Universe code. On a yellow application for Fanta soda, the firm used a contrasting orange background and conforming adhesive to affix the Mutoh-printed QR codes to stucco walls.
Tooting their Own Code
Some wide-format print firm owners have jumped on the QR code bandwagon for their own self-promotional needs. “We use our QR code on the stickers that we put on the back of all of our signs,” noted Mary Lou Goehrung, owner of a Signs By Tomorrow franchise in Bethesda, MD. “Our signs go nationwide, so it will be easy for new and old customers to just shoot the code and bring them to our website.
“We also have a large code on the entrance doors of our sign center for when customers come and we are not open,” she added. “Again, it allows them to go to our website and obtain information about us, even though we are not open.