Today I came across an article which discussed how 2-D QR Codes are beginning to “creep” their way onto television screens. Want to know what we here at Pongr think about QR codes, not only on television, but in general? In the words of the immortal Pauly D of Jersey Shore, “It’s too cold to creep!” Still don’t know what a QR code is?? Read this. I know, these things are tough – it’s not your fault.
After reading about this a little more, I decided to take it upon myself to make a list of the problems I see associated with the use of QR codes in television programming. I mean, it’s not like you were going to do it….
1. The technology is limited only to people who own smartphones. You can only read the QR code if you download an application. According to a survey I read, only 16% of people living in the US own a smartphone as of May 2010. Not enough.
2. You have to have DVR to take a snapshot of a QR code in the appropriate amount of time. Listen – we can’t all be (insert name of famous photographer cause I don’t know any besides Walter Iooss, and I still can’t even pronounce his last name after 30 years), can we?? If you don’t have DVR, and you want to be on the cusp of innovation like The Weather Channel, you could use a clock showing a countdown until the QR code is displayed. Seriously, a countdown!! I’m pretty sure shot clocks were created for basketball games, not television advertising.
3. If they want to use the QR code, it has to be in the corner of the program for a certain period of time, if not the entire time. Why would anyone want to look at that? I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly annoying when I’m trying to watch a TV show and there’s an ad filling up a portion of the lower screen. At one point last year, I remember trying to watch a bunch of terrorists scheming in their own language about how to kill Jack Bauer (laughable - dude is invincible), and I missed the subtitles because Fox chose to promote a new episode of House (we get it, House – you’re a rule breaker!!). That’s simply unacceptable.
On the other hand, Pongr has been working on technology to enable entire TV commercials to be image searchable from any cell phone. You don’t need that Droid X (am I wrong, or is this thing larger than a “Hungry Man” TV dinner box?) to get a deal. Just take a picture of the commercial at any time, picture-text it to Pongr, and get instant deals! We are all about linking offline media with digital, and now the ability to index and search TV commercials means advertisers can build creative campaigns around getting users to engage with their TV spots.
Not only does Pongr technology work with commercials, but we are also in the process of experimenting with being able to index products within actual television shows!! This is perfect for you 30 Rock fans, who want to get a deal on whatever type of cheese doodle Liz Lemon is currently indulging in. Unfortunately, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to a point where every commercial can be indexed, as local commercials could potentially pose a problem (such as this), but I’d advise all of you to try to not stomp all over my hopes and dreams…that’s just mean.
For more info on how Pongr can help your cable TV network, interactive television commercial planning, or movie (yes, we can index your movies too) integrate existing video assets into marketing programs with a mobile opt-in component, drop us a line.