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Social Activists Use QR Codes to Promote Gulf Coast Cleanup


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Social Activists Use QR Codes to Promote Gulf Coast Cleanup


As a byproduct of its Be the One campaign to build  public support for restoring the weary Gulf Coast Region, a grassroots organization is raising awareness of the QR code among the general population.

Women of the Storm, a non-partisan organization based in New Orleans, partnered with mobile scanning technology maker ScanLife to create a QR code that drives people to sign an online petition as part of its Restore the Gulf effort. The organization is putting the QR code on everything from web sites and posters to tee shirts with the URL of its Restore the Gulf website and the slogan "Scan the tag. Sign the petition. Be the one."  Last week, an enormous version of the Be the One QR code was displayed on a billboard in Times Square. It was impossible to walk through Times Square without noticing the QR code. If New Yorkers didn't know what a QR code was before, they do now.

To scan the QR code, you need a mobile scanning application on your smart phone. I downloaded the free one that ScanLife makes onto my Blackberry so that I could scan a Be the One QR code for myself. When I opened the ScanLife application, the camera was activated on my phone. I then centered the QR code that I had printed off from the Be the One website in my viewfinder and pressed a button to capture the image. Sure enough, the default web browser automatically opened on my phone and took me straight to the mobile version of the Be the One petition.

It will be interesting to see how many people sign this petition as a result of the integration of the QR code into the campaign. As for myself, I am definitely going to be more likely to scan a QR code with my phone the next time I run across one in public now that I know how easy it is. As this technology becomes more widely adopted, I look forward to seeing more QR codes printed on product labels. I would never stand in the middle of a grocery aisle and take the time to type in the URL of a product I was interested in. I would, however, consider taking five seconds to pull up the same website by scanning a QR code printed on a food product label.

I am also interested to know if you are currently using QR codes. And if so, where are you running across in them? Are you leveraging them for your own business or nonprofit organization and if so, what results are you seeing so far? What ideas come to mind for incorporating QR codes into your own promotions? I would love to hear from you.

And remember, we can print QR codes on your labels here at Lightning Labels. If you have any questions, I would be happy to speak with you.