The Quiet Rise
- by Ian McCawley
In this second blog of our series examining what recovery from the pandemic might look like in 2021, we throw the focus on how technology has developed since the onset of Covid-19, and how it will be implemented during the next 12 months.
The power of technology has come to the fore in new ways. From Zoom calls with family, friends and co-workers becoming commonplace to over-60s shopping online in record numbers, trends have emerged that look as if they are here to stay.
Yet one thing has stood out to our agency more than any other: the quick rise of the QR code.
You may or may not know that QR codes by suppliers to the Japanese car industry as a novel, smart way to store and access large amounts of information. Despite an initial push by mobile phone companies and marketers they never really caught on - until now.
QR codes - which can store 200 times more information than the humble barcode - have suddenly become ubiquitous. You can’t enter a pub or restaurant without spotting the NHS App code displayed by the door. It’s also been handy for payments at a time of social distancing.
We were lucky enough to work with The Royal British Legion so they could point QR codes to our , with codes featuring on posters as a way to donate without approaching collectors. It proved a hugely successful part of the donations funnel for this year’s fundraising efforts.
QR codes are now being considered as a way to boost healthcare, with patient information - including X-rays and cardiograms - potentially stored in image form behind a QR code, offering a route to quick diagnosis in emergencies.
From our perspective, we welcome QR codes becoming an accepted part of payment technology. The UK has a long way to go to reach the volume of payments made using this method in China - currently 1.8 billion cashless transactions a day are completed via QR - but it’s clearly a strong option for consumers and charity donors.
So how do WPNC experts think QR will develop from here? This is a snapshot of their thoughts:
Vicky Reeves, Managing Director, Digital: “QR codes will finally be mainstream, which is exciting for advertisers.”
Freddie Herzog, Digital Client Services Manager: “QR codes will begin to replace full URLs that are currently typed on marketing materials.”
Bob Nash, Creative Director: “We’ll all be using cash less than ever – QR codes, debitand credit cards, and other e-payments will take over most transactions.”
Hannah Williams, Client Services Director: “We’ll start to see QR codes on TV ads as the public have become used to the idea during the Covid-19 era.”
QR codes are not the only aspect of tech we think will take off in 2021.
Sandra Money, our Head of TV, predicts an increase in video on demand (VOD) advertising: “The ability to produce new TV programming has been severely restricted this year. VOD has become more accepted by viewers and will be an interesting new medium for DRTV.
“Older viewers who used to be mainly regular TV watchers are now used to the delights of selecting their own programmes from a vast array of VOD and catch-up content available. VOD needs innovative creative to overcome the particular challenges of how VOD advertising is watched.”
Vicky adds: “Online chat and chat bots will continue to grow. More websites will have them to answer any questions as customers are browsing.”