This certainly seems to be the case. Even major companies like LOWES can’t get it right.

Lowes and Bosch some right, but mostly wrong

This past weekend I was reading the Friday, May 11th issue of the Wall Street Journal. I see a half page ad for LOWES promoting Bosch dishwashers. I have a general contractor client/friend that has installed Bosch dishwashers and I think it is the loudest dishwasher you never heard.  Actually they are very quiet.

IMG_20120516_144343    IMG_20120516_144354

A Good Start

IMG_20120516_154851Well about the Lowes Ad (pictured) with the Microsoft tag (enlarged), having commented on this QR Codes and tags in the past and my somewhat familiarity with Bosch, I immediately took out my Windows Mobile 6.5 (OK I know old technology) phone and scanned the “tag.” It took me to a mobile friendly page and that is a good start.  A lot of companies get this part wrong and would send me to a full web site, instead of a mobile friendly landing page, which is impossible to read on the small screen of a smartphone and then what  I am supposed to do when I get there???

Here’s where LOWES  FAILS and…

After tapping the image to “look inside the quietest brand…”, my phone seems to be loading a new screen and then nothing. I am still on the landing page. I try it out on my Apple iPod Touch.  I get the same landing page and tap the dishwasher and … again NOTHING.  Then I scan the code on my Android tablet.  Same Landing page screen and…. again NOTHING!  WTF?


Then if you look on the landing page you see there is a “15% Reward” hotlink.  I tapped that on all three devices.  It is very slow to load, but I get a web based page with a rebate form.  Not a PDF that I can save and load to my PC or send to myself for printing.  Not only that “what happened to the ‘FREE INSTALLATION’ that the print ad was promoting?”  Nowhere on the mobile landing page is there any mention of that and the rebate form is really hard to see on my mobile devices; besides the fact that I cannot print the darn thing. Talk about sending the wrong message. I wanted to know more about Free Installation.

A Quarter of a Million Dollars WASTED!

The ad was repeated in the Saturday edition of the WSJ as well.  Not exactly sure if LOWES ran it more than twice, but I assume they would have.  At the open rate, each ad would have cost LOWES around $122,000!  Add any creative and professional fees, the total bill could have exceeded $250,000!  For an ad that does not work? And you thought only government could waste money like that.

Test it, and Test it again

Hey LOWES, didn’t your agency that placed this ad, bother to test the tag?  If I am building a QR code or a Microsoft tag, I test the code or tag on various devices to make sure it works, make sure the landing page is mobile friendly, it is a true landing page that should entice the prospect to take additional action that just might lead to further engagement and sales and that any links work..  Lowes, if you need some help in this area, call me at (402) 953-2340 or contact me at my web site, I can help you get the ad right and not only that it would not cost you as much as what you spent (not invested, investment only works if there is a return) in an ad that is going to yield so little in return. Bosch probably is pissed as well as they want to move dishwashers through the LOWES stores. Bosch probably paid for half or more of this ad.

I do hope Lowes gets some sort of response and that they can track the scans. Microsoft tags are nice in that analytics are built into the Microsoft tag system, but you can build a form of analytics into QR codes as well. Trouble here is can they measure the clicks on the landing page links?  Still that will not help much since one failed to work at all and the other was rather useless.


Will the QR Code Survive?

Poor execution of QR Codes and Microsoft tags by companies will kill this tactic and the consumer will not even bother scanning future codes.

What are your thoughts?