Common Mistakes TV Advertisers Make When Implementing QR Codes For Television

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Common Mistakes TV Advertisers Make When Implementing QR Codes For Television

Quick Response (QR) codes have gained significant popularity in recent years as a valuable marketing tool, especially for TV advertisers. They provide an interactive and efficient way for businesses to engage with their customers, share information and drive conversions. However, like any marketing strategy, implementing QR codes requires careful planning and execution. Unfortunately, many marketers make mistakes that hinder the effectiveness of their QR code campaigns. In this article, I will explore some common errors that marketers make when implementing QR codes and provide insights on how to avoid them.

Lack of a Clear Purpose:

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is using QR codes without a clear objective in mind. Placing a QR code on an advertisement or packaging simply for the sake of having one is less likely to yield positive results. Before implementing a QR code, marketers should define the purpose behind it, such as providing additional product information, offering discounts, or driving users to a specific landing page. By having a clear purpose, marketers can optimize the QR code's design, content, and placement to achieve their desired outcome.

Neglecting Mobile Optimization:

QR codes are primarily scanned using smartphones, so it is essential to optimize the landing page or content that the code leads to for mobile devices. Neglecting mobile optimization can result in frustrating user experiences, slow loading times, or content that is not properly displayed on smaller screens. Marketers should ensure that the landing page or website associated with the QR code is mobile-responsive, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience across different devices.

Poor Placement and Size

The location and visibility of QR codes significantly impact their effectiveness. I’ve recently seen TV commercials where a stamp-sized QR Code was placed on a commercial that was too small for the user to scan. QR Codes work best when they can be seen and captured at least ten feet away. On a typical TV screen of 1920x1080 pixels, the QR Code should be about 300x300 pixels in size and placed in the lower right corner of the commercial. The lower right corner has become the de facto placement of QR Codes where viewers are used to seeing them. Consistency is best.

Short Length of Time

QR Codes should appear for the entire length of the commercial to yield the highest response. I’ve seen advertisers place QR Codes on their five-second billboards at the end of the commercial. I’ve also seen a QR Code pop up for a few seconds during the commercial. Neither provides enough time for the user to engage. QR Codes that appear unobstructed throughout the commercial yield higher response.

No Call to Action (CTAs)

It is very important to include directions for the TV viewer to engage with a QR Code. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just enough to let the viewer know what to do and what they get. "Scan For Coupon," "Scan for More Info," "Scan to Text" and "Scan to Call" are very simple directions for the viewer to follow. The text should appear above the QR Code. Further CTA information can be used in a lower third or L-shape overlay, further enhancing the message to engage.

Failing to Provide Incentives

QR codes are more likely to be scanned when there is a clear value proposition for the user. Many marketers overlook the importance of providing incentives to encourage scans. Whether it is a special discount, exclusive content, or entry into a contest, offering something valuable increases the likelihood of engagement. Marketers should focus on creating compelling reasons for users to scan the QR code, enhancing the overall user experience and driving higher conversion rates.

Lack of Analytics and Tracking

A crucial aspect of any marketing campaign is tracking its performance and analyzing data to make informed decisions. Marketers often neglect to incorporate proper analytics and tracking mechanisms when implementing QR codes. By integrating analytics tools, marketers can gain insights into the number of scans, user behavior, and conversion rates. This data provides valuable feedback to optimize future QR code campaigns, refine marketing strategies, and ensure a higher return on investment.


QR codes have the potential to be highly effective marketing tools when correctly implemented. Marketers must avoid common mistakes to maximize their impact. By having a clear purpose, conducting thorough testing, optimizing for mobile, strategically placing QR codes, providing incentives and tracking performance, marketers can harness the full potential of QR codes and drive engagement, conversions and brand loyalty. With careful planning and execution, QR codes can enhance engagement and TV media optization.

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