A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. As you know, it’s one of the world’s greatest museum institutions. And, best of all, it’s free!
There are many museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institution. They include the National Gallery of Art, the Air & Space Museum and the Natural History Museum.
On this particular visit, I took a stroll through the Natural History Museum with my family. One of my favorite exhibits was about the Neanderthals — early humans who roamed Europe and Asia between 50,000 and 130,000 years ago.
At the Neanderthal exhibit, I noticed a small QR code that was part of the exhibit. You know QR codes — they’re the small “bar code” boxes that are starting to show up in ads, posters and even business cards (see example below).
We’ve talked about QR Codes in the past and have a list of innovative uses of QR Codes in a blog post called How to Use Mobile Media QR Codes to Promote Your Business.
When users snap this QR code with their smart phone, they’re driven through to a website called Meanderthal. Users can then take a picture of themselves and use the Meanderthal website to superimpose what they would have looked like 50,000 to 130,000 years ago.
It was a great use of QR codes because it does three things:
- It engages visitors and encourages them to have a deeper involvement with the exhibit
- It drives visitors through to a website where it teaches them more about Neanderthals
- It includes a viral component in the form of e-mailable photos of the visitor as a Neanderthal
If you’re thinking about getting into mobile media, one of your first steps should be to start using QR codes in your brochures, in-store posters, ads and other collateral. They’re a great way to engage people more deeply with your product or your brand.
Interested in reading more about mobile media and QR codes? Take a look at some of these recent blog posts:
- How to Get Started in Mobile Media
- An Introduction to the Next Big Thing: Mobile Media
- What is Foursquare? And How Can You Use it to Promote Your Business?
If you have QR code experiences that you’d like to share with our readers, please let me know. We’re collecting new and innovative uses of QR codes all the time and will be talking about them in future blog posts.
Posted by Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer, the 60 Second Marketer, the online magazine of BKV Digital and Direct Response. Jamie’s book, co-authored with Dr. Reshma Shah, can be previewed by clicking “How to Make Money with Social Media.”