Four percent of magazine readers who noted ads with 2-D barcodes in the first half of this year actually took out their phones and snapped a picture at least once, according to GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research.
Many ads did better, of course: a Porsche ad in Men’s Journal, a Microsoft Office ad in Working Mother and a bedding ad in Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine, all made GfK MRI Starch’s list of the best-performing ads with 2-D barcodes. Among the people who saw the Porsche ad in Men’s Journal, for example, 17% took a picture of its code.
Advertisers hardly need to use a code to get people engaged. By comparison, 14% of people who noticed any magazine ad in the first half of the year responded by visiting the advertiser’s website, presumably primarily through traditional routes such as search engines or the address bar.
2-D barcodes got a better response among men than women: 6% of men who noticed ads with codes photographed at least one in the first half of the year, while 4% of women did the same, GfK MRI Starch found. And younger people were more likely to activate the codes than older people: 6% of readers between 18 to 34 years old who noted ads with the codes took a picture, according to GfK MRI Starch, compared with 3% of people age 35 and up.