Another QR ad campaign misfires for Henry IV

Rating: Who has Flash in their Android phone, anyway?

Fresh from our discovery that there was something wrong with a QR code in a recent marketing campaign for Bulmers Cider (see here), GoMo News has spotted another major embarrassment for the creators of an add campaign for the Henry of Navarre film. It’s not too clear who has created this mess, but those who want to view a trailer fro the film about the life of Henry IV of France might be surprised to learn that their ‘smartphone’ needs to support Adobe’s Flash. GoMo News wouldn’t like to hazard a guess at the percentage of smartphone owners this requirement disenfranchises – but it must be huge.When GoMo News spotted the QR code printed in an advert running in today’s [July 4th 20011] of the UK’s Daily Mirror, we thought we’d better give it a go.

Using NeoMedia’s Neoreader app, we were successfully able to recognise the QR Code.

This took us to a mobile web site that promptly informed us that a compatible version of Adobe’s Flash wasn’t available for our handset.

The first Android handset we tried with was a Blade from ZTE followed by our heavily modified Motorola Dext.

Neither support Adobe Flash but luckily our recently upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo) Motorola Defy supports Adobe Flash.

The point is that playing video clips that will work on the vast majority of smartphones isn’t exactly rocket science so we were a bit astonished by the requirement for Flash support.

It’s difficult to work out who is responsible. The advert suggests that Mirror readers should buy the DVD or Blu-ray products from major UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s.

The mobile web pages mention Showbox Home Entertainment. The URL, however, points to film distributor Cineasia as well as Delivr.

Let’s dispense with the latter. Delivr offers a service which converts ‘mobile friendly’ URLs into barcodes. Sadly the URL wasn’t that mobile friendly as it turned out. So, maybe it is Cineasia’s problem.

In the meantime such mistakes don’t do anything to encourage the general public to place much faith in scanning a QR code into their smartphone to watch a video clip.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Mobile Ad&Mktg, Mobile barcodes, Motorola, ZTE, android and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Another QR ad campaign misfires for Henry IV

  1. Rich says:

    Tony –

    It should not be assumed that a user will be disenfranchised by something their phone was never capable of doing in the first place.

    MOTO DEXT is Android 1.5 which not only has around 1% of the Android market share.

    MOTO BLADE is 2.1 up gradable to 2.2. Less than 25% of Android devices are 2.1.

    Android 2.1 does not support playing video “in browser” naively. In most cases, 2.1 users are required to download and select the appropriate media player to playback any file. So even if you could detect the OS and serve an mp4 instead there is no guarantee that the user would have defaulted the appropriate media player to play it.

    I do not think that defaulting to flash video on android makes this campaign a misfire. It simply limits the reach. If they had served flash video to an iPhone that would be a misfire :)

  2. smart poster says:

    The trouble is that iDevices don’t support flash, who ever is responsible for this faux par should read : Test, Test and Test again on all platform and all devices.
    Valpak to send out 80 Million QR Codes
    In one of the largest QR Code campigns during July and August 80 million U.S. households will receive a Valpak envelope with a QR Code that with link the QR Code scanner to a socila media related website, a TV alert, mail opt-in or other calls to action.

    Let’s hope the get their QR Code right!

  3. Tony Dennis says:

    My DEXT isn’t 1.5. It is 2.1. You obviously aren’t a keen reader of this site see here
    http://www.gomonews.com/how-to-migrate-an-android-handset-to-froyo/
    And the third phone was a Defy upgraded to 2.2.
    Where on Earth do you get your 25 per cent of Android devices are 2.1 figure from? Guesswork?

  4. David Harper says:

    @ Tony. It is great you are highlighting what works/what doesn’t.

    At Delivr, we are with you.

    ONLY mobile-friendly content should be made available at the other end of a QR Code.

    To further this Delivr also provides several options for those without mobile-friendly pages to easily generate them.

    Please scan this QR Code to see an example (leads to video and other content for charity: water: http://delivr.s3.amazonaws.com/charity_water/charity_water.png

  5. It’s great to see marketers moving with the times and incorporating mobile barcodes into their marketing campaigns, but fundamental to the continued adoption of mobile barcodes will be ensuring an excellent consumer experience and brand interaction. After all, nothing hampers consumer receptivity like a poor initial experience.

    Marketers looking to use mobile barcodes in their campaigns must get a good understanding of the techniques and follow best practices to overcome issues such as this one picked up by Tony.

    At the heart of any campaign deployment must be thorough testing processes – testing to ensure that the correct resolution address has been used so the link works each and every time, that the content is optimized for mobile, and that the content be accessed using a variety of mobile barcode scanner applications running on a number of different camera equipped mobile devices.

    Delivering a fully tested campaign goes a long way to ensuring the consumer will continue to engage with the product or brand through the mobile barcode. So, remember to test and test again!
    NeoMedia released an update to its barcode best practices recently that talks about this http://www.neom.com/resources/white_papers/mobile-barcode-best-practices

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