When a campaign is not fully tested, it can completely destroy the experience for some or all of the people who experience the campaign. Today, I decided to scan a QR Code located on the front of the to-go bag from a burger franchise. I was impressed – there was a decent call to action, an alternate URL to visit, and they even warned me that data rates may apply
I’m on a phone when I scan a QR Code,
yet the redirect took me to an embed link for the youtube video. It tried to play “full screen” in my mobile browser and here is what the experience was like:
1) My Phone looks like my desktop when I full-screen a youtube video. There’s a play button in the middle of a cheesburger picture.
2) I click the play button. Nothing happens. I click again.
3) That little spinning thing starts to spin in the middle of the cheesburger picture.
4) After 20 seconds, I heard 1.5 seconds of audio and the picture changed on my screen.
5) Another 20 seconds, and now I see and hear about 2 seconds of video.
6) I see a warning message: “This video is not optimized for mobile”.
7) Another 20 seconds goes by, I see and hear another 2 seconds of video. I now give up and close my browser.
The QR Code itself was not a failure,
nor was the message on why I should scan the code. The failure was in the execution of the mobile experience. My guess is that this was tested on a desktop, ipad, or a phone that was connected to wifi. Luckily, the QR Code goes to a redirect, so the company could try and fix this experience before they disappoint too many more people.
Test! Have someone test! This was not a failure of the QR Code, but rather a failure of the team executing the campaign. Let’s learn from this failure so we don’t make it ourselves, OK?