QR Codes were invented in Japan back in 1994 to replace barcodes in inventory management. Since then, they have been adopted for various other purposes – marketing, security, and identification – particularly in the West. Thanks to WeChat, the QR Codes have seen a massive adoption in China and South-East Asia in the last couple of years. Middle East is another that is picking up the technology.
But what about other regions? How are QR Codes used in Australia? So we set out to find how brands and businesses are using QR Codes in the country.
Here are the top 11 campaigns where QR Codes were used in Australia:
1. Education of voters on polling day
Bill Cashman, Greens NSW candidate from Fowler, Australia added a QR Code to their campaign material during the electorates in 2016.
On our Fowler and Werriwa polling booths The Greens will be displaying material that has a QR (quick response) code that can be read with a mobile phone and a free barcode-reading app. Our unique QR codes will allow Fowler and Werriwa voters with smartphones to quickly access our Greens how-to-vote cards online – Bill Cashman, Greens NSW Candidate from Fowler, Australia.
The adoption of QR Codes in electorate polls by the party can be attributed to lack of manpower and other resources. In this cost-effective way the candidates will be able to influence voters, particularly the tech-savvy ones.
2. Design of new building of National Museum Australia inspired by QR Codes
As reported in Sep 2013-Feb 2014 issue of the National Museum Australia (NMA), the new extension of the museum’s administration building’s exterior design is inspired by QR Code technology.
Visitor’s can scan these QR Codes and learn more about the museum.
Clad in eye-catching handmade ceramic tiles arranged in a pattern based on QR (Quick Response) codes, the design of the new extension of the Museum’s administration wing literally encourages the idea of reading the building – Meredith McKendry, NMA
3. oOh! Media digital ad panels campaign for Google Play Store at airports
In 2013, oOh! Media, on behalf of Google, used QR Codes on digital ad panels placed on Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane airports to help travellers interact with the panels. Travellers could select books, movies, music, magazines or apps on the digital panel and then scan the QR Code or tap NFC to download.
This was the first time an advertiser has taken full ownership of a digital platform to create a mass campaign that has enabled consumers to take control of the screen with their smart phones – Warwick Denby, Group Director – Business Strategy, oOh! Media
4. Australia Post Video Stamp Christmas campaign using QR Codes
In 2013, Australia Post used ‘video stamps’ or QR Codes in alliance with an advertisement agency Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne on its parcels. The gift sender can record a 15-second video which can be viewed by the recipient on scanning the QR Code.
This is our busiest time of year and to be able to give people a unique way to deliver their Christmas wishes in person is thrilling for us – Greg Sutherland, Chief Marketing Officer, Australia Post
5. Whadjuk Trail Network used QR Code to spread information
Whadjuk Trail Network on Noongar land in the western suburbs of Perth uses QR Codes on its trails. When scanned, the QR Code allows trail users to listen to Aboriginal stories and songs, and to learn additional information about the fauna and flora in the area.
6. Western Australia Wildflower Society QR Code Treasure Hunt
In 2014, Western Australia Wildflower Society, organized a treasure hunt using QR Codes to get residents to take notice of the Christmas trees. The QR Codes were placed on 20 trees and Perth residents were encouraged to find all QR Codes. Nuytsia seedlings were awarded to winners.
The Western Australian Christmas tree, a variety of mistletoe, has declined by 90 per cent in urban areas of Perth in the past 30 years – Emma Wynne, ABC News Australia
7. Heroes & Villains Walking Tour in Newport
In 2015, HistoryPoints.org created a walking tour called Heroes & Villains in Newport, New South Wales that features stories on a soldier who returned from the Boer War to kill his wife and a delivery boy who was the hero of the 1909 dock disaster. Eight QR Codes were placed at different locations across the city centre.
Another QR Code-based HistoryPoints tour has been placed in Bute Park in the city.
8. Bendigo bank uses QR Code for payment in Australia
In 2014, Australia’s Bendigo Bank collaborated with Samsung to allow shoppers to make mobile payments using QR Codes via Redy. The shoppers need to scan the QR Code, which is generated by a merchant’s tablet-based POS terminal using the Redy App.
9. BPAY Payments using QR Codes
Australia’s popular bill payment service, BPAY, allows consumers to pay bills by scanning a QR Code on the bill. Participating banks can add a QR Code scanning feature on their mobile applications, which consumers can use to male bill payments.
Both Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and National Australia Bank (NAB) have added this capability to their mobile banking apps.
10. Oceanwatch used QR Code to increase traceability in Australia
On World Fisheries day in Nov 2014, OceanWatch launched a traceability system using QR Codes as a part of the OceanWatch Master Fisherman Program. When the QR Code is scanned, wholesale buyers get a complete picture of where and how the catch was caught and the face behind the fishing. The QR codes also reveals information about the characteristics of the species, migration patterns and population statistics.
“These QR codes offer real transparency around the provenance of seafood. It’s important the community knows where their seafood comes from, and is confident the fisher is dedicated to responsible fishing and best-practice techniques to protect our marine environments” – Brad Warren, Executive Chair, OceanWatch Australia.
11. Australian government use QR Code for safe construction
In 2012, CodeSafe Solutions (CodeSafe) and Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) partnered with WorkSafe Victoria to show short targeted safety videos/demonstrations on high risk construction activities. QR Codes linking to these videos were embedded into Safe Work Method Statements.
These campaigns show that QR Codes are actively used in Australia for tourism, customer education, and improving customer experience. Due to the inclusion of QR Codes in day-to-day operations (such as BPAY), it can be safely assumed that consumers are highly aware of the technology. Brands too should start adding QR Codes to their print media promotional campaigns to make it easy for consumers to get required information.
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