Apps, Mobile & SMS

A Look At 3 QR Code Rules: Lupe Fiasco FAILS and Zoo Records WINS

image from Now that we've looked at how to get started with QR codes for music marketing and suggested 10 creative ways musicians can use QR codes, it's time take a look at some rules for QR code use with examples of a failure from Lupe Fiasco and a win from Zoo Records.

Hidden Sounds: Indie Music Campaign for Zoo Records

Roger at 2d code shares Three Rules of QR Codes:

1st Rule: Mobilize the landing page [rather than sending fans to a non-mobilized web page].

2nd Rule: Keep the url short [using an url shortener to enable error correction and even allow for a cooler design].

3rd Rule: Make the content valuable [or people will feel cheated and start learning to ignore QR codes].

Lupe Fiasco's Lasers event at Union Square sounded like a winner until reports from the scene indicated that it failed Rule 3.  Those who had gone to the event expecting to see Lupe following a misleading tweet were rewarded with some wall projections which included a QR code that led to an order page for a deluxe edition of Lasers. Though later event tweets were less ambiguous, the initial use of a QR code added to fans' disappointment by failing to provide valuable content.

Marketing agency Leo Burnett created the Hidden Sound campaign, shown in the video above, for Hong Kong's alternative music store, Zoo Records.  It featured creative placement of QR codes in street art that took one to mobile landing pages with free music and more info about the bands as well as social media features and the ability to buy the bands' albums. The campaign resulted in lots of social media activity and many of the featured records sold out in a week.

More recently, Leo Burnett followed Hidden Sounds with Hidden Live using scannable codes on tickets offering access to a live mobile concert featuring indie bands.

The difference between the Hidden Sound and Lasers campaigns is that Hidden Sound provided cool content before the call to action, giving all users a positive music experience with additional branding power rather than leaving them disappointed on the eve of a major album release.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance is his primary web project.

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  1. My band has used QR codes in the past to give away free music in support of our new album (we hid them in precarious spots in every city we played on our last tour, and made a ‘scavenger hunt’ out of it).
    More recently, we’ve been using QR codes on our show posters around town and we’ve had some great success with it. Simply putting a QR code containing a link to pre-order tickets to the show on the poster itself has led to more ticket sales and new fans. People see show flyers all the time and think “yeah I’m gonna go to that show” and then 2 weeks later they forget about your show if they’re not following your social media outlets. We’ve given people the ability to buy tickets from their phone while the intrigue is still fresh. We’ve gotten some good results thus far and I encourage others to try it for your next show.

  2. Lupe Fiasco didn’t fail… his record label did, so shut the fuck up. Lasers went #1 by the way.

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