QR Codes are like Rock’n Roll;  not new, but still cool. 

I for one am fascinated with the ever expanding potential of these speckled, oddball little darlings (and highly aware of creepier aspects of QR Code use, as well). Despite my inherent bent for conspiracy theories, I have to say phenomenal opportunities abound for those brave and imaginative souls looking to try their hand with QR Codes to augment their content  in an interactive, audience building way. Interested in learning more? Right this way, pilgrim…

Ok, so what the hell-o is QR Code, and what can I do with it to expand my viewing audience, grow a list of fans and spread my stuff all over with as little hassle as possible?

You may have seen the vids of rabid fans with QR codes on their backs, necks or heads (leading to a band website, Greenpeace campaign, etc). It’s a little weird grabbing these off somebody, but it worked for me — I was keen to see what they were passionate about pushing.

Let me edify; QR codes are simply 2 D codes that you can drop anywhere, wether printed, online, on a tv screen or even projected at a film festival. Create a Vector or Raster QR code and  slap it on business cards, stickers, product packaging (DVD covers, movie posters, T-shirts), print ads, billboards, and coffee mugs (like post production facilities, or brunches at film festival events), to direct viewers to your online video, check for your screening times & locations, or point them to a mobile-friendly landing page to ogle your online promotional efforts. You could try giving your little brother a haircut, too.

The possibilities are limited only to your imagination, literally. Check this guy’s idea to use QR codes via a tattoo; this’ll take some commitment, fer sure. Check the informative, yet fun video below. Oh, those crazy creatives at Leo Burnett. Crazy!

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About pushing your own project(s), there’s a few great case studies utilizing QR codes and Prezi to promote a personal/ professional resume vis digital Soc Media. Hang in there a minute, this actually has some cool stuff going on–

Prezi is an interactive, non-linear slide show-esque approach to getting your images, content, info and whatnot into one place for all to see. One way to get folks to access your Prezi content is via QR codes; lined to your Prezi page, they get there, and with mobile device in hand, are able to access your cool stuff in an interactive, engaging format of your choosing. Neat thing is, like a myriad of QR Code generators available online, Prezi is free.

Prezi Demo courtesy of ProPoint Graphics_LLCThe Prezi-tized,  animated  interactive fun begins. Tell a story, show off images, screen movie clips, share script notes, add blog snippets, invite the viewer behind the scenes with clips, images, etc. Prezi is just one more place to utilize QR code and get folks acquainted with your work/ project/ campaign and spread the word.

Seems to me that might work for your film/ game/ platform/ transmedia project…

I got myself into the QR Code user universe thru the assembly of a comic book version of my short film, The Pit and the Pendulum. The film is an stop motion animated short; the comic is a digital, online comic that’s available as a download, or online, as an interactive property. There are currently two ways to use the book; using QR Codes and online links to hidden web pages found on the site.

Printing the comic as a .pdf allows the option to use mobile devices with QR code reader software to access movie clips, additional pages of info relevant to the story, and educational resources both online and off. Viewing the Pit and the Pendulum Interactive Comic Book online allows the use of both active links. Moving your cursor over the pages online reveals  hidden images which, upon appearing,  signal locations of more hidden links. Using QR Codes found on the pages reveals additional links to resources, film clips, etc. Of course, there are more hidden bits with the hidden links, so I suggest using both the cursor and the QR codes to maximize the experience. The book is like an onion, without the tears.

Grab the book at Poe In The Pit.com – download for free, share with your friends.

This was my first shot with providing a multi-platfrom, QR code active experience– it’s a work in progress, as I continue to tweak as I have time. The cost of all that madness? Nothing monetary, but it was like attending Tech Boot camp; from concept to delivery, a bear. A helluva lot of fun when it was over.

I think there’s slots of room to utilize this simple, effective QR codes to engage and interact with your audience; only thing holding any of us back is our imagination and a handful of time to get it up and running.

What do you think?   Cheers, M.

Photo: Jordan Hollender

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