I read in a magazine yesterday that an enterprising funeral parlour in Dorset is offering to place quick response (QR) codes on headstones which, when scanned on a smartphone, open up an online biography of the deceased. At first this sounds a little morbid, but then why shouldn’t gravestones go digital? The password-protected codes enable mourners to see photos, videos, tributes and obituaries from the graveside, although they can also be placed (for £300) on trees, benches or plaques. There’s something quite heart-warming about that if you ask me. What a romantic way to preserve someone’s memory. QR codes have been around since the mid-nineties but only recently have they crossed over (swarmed over more like) from industry to the world of advertising. The codes are now a familiar sight on print adverts, offering quick and effortless access to websites as a way to coax potential consumers to engage with the product or service. Clearly QR codes have huge potential for internal comms too and I wonder how many organisations are exploiting this technology. As we continually strive for new and creative ways to ‘sell’ our wares to ever-demanding audiences, QR codes clearly offer an option to support campaigns, layer messages and exploit curiosity. It seems a reasonable next step when you consider how smartphones are taking over our lives. I read in the same magazine* that a third of smartphone users in the UK check their devices for social network and email updates in bed before saying good morning to their partners. According to the new survey from Three, it seems 26% of 18-24 years olds sleep with their phones. Oh dear.
* The Week, 15th September
If your company uses QR codes for internal comms purposes, please let me know. I’d love to find out more.