According to a report on WNDU-TV (video below), the community of St Joseph, Michigan were intrigued by a large QR Code billboard that appeared over a local store. As the reporter interviewed puzzled residents I was reminded very much of the origin of the word ‘quiz’.
Richard Daly an 18th century Dublin theater owner made a bet that he could within two days make a nonsense word known throughout the city and that the public would find a meaning for it. As the theater closed one evening he gave all his staff cards with the word ‘quiz’ written on them and asked them to write the word on walls around the city. The next day the strange word was the talk of the town and within a short time it become part of the English language.
I am not suggesting that QR Codes are like the word ‘quiz’ but I was struck watching the TV news item how no one knew what the billboard was advertising and yet everybody in the community was talking about it because of the ‘strange symbol’. In a matter of days most people there will know what a QR Code is and the local dental practice that used one.
The takeaway here is that if you are a small town business and you think your local community are unaware of QR Codes, then use one in as conspicuous a way as possible! Call the local TV station and newspaper editors and let them know what you have done and be prepared to give interviews. You may not have anyone scan your QR Code but there is a window of opportunity over the next few months for great free publicity and local branding.