I recently saw a couple of articles online questioning why QR codes are not used more extensively in videos given their obvious appeal and the widespread use of smartphones and tablets.
At first glance these commentators appear to have a point, QR codes certainly function in videos, assuming they are on screen long enough, and they will still perform their primary role of highlighting the fact that additional content or information is available in this medium. So why don’t all video producers use them?
The answer is simple and it is down to the platform on which most video is viewed these days – the Internet. When used in ambient media, such as posters or print, QR codes provide a fast-track way to access content online via your phone. But if you are already online watching a video on YouTube, via a website or in an email you are only ever a click away from that content, you certainly don’t need to whip out your phone and start scanning the screen. Smart TVs are increasingly providing interconnectivity as well and this trend looks like accelerating.
I’ve always been fan of QR codes and I believe they will outlive more recent, and frankly smarter, innovations such as Blippar simply because the QR device itself is a clear flag to highlight the link, but only if it is used in offline media.