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Tech

QR codes make an appearance on election signs

Posted by Tim / April 21, 2011

Andrew LangQR codes seem to be popping up everywhere these days so I wasn't surprised to spot one this week on one social media savvy candidate's election sign. While we've discussed before our theory that few people actually use QR codes (or know what they are) it still seems a no-risk move to add them to an election sign. In fact, it's perhaps surprising that there aren't more candidates using them.

Andrew Lang, who is the Liberal candidate for Toronto Danforth, needs all the help he can get (he's in Jack Layton's riding). So when one of his campaign volunteers spotted QR codes on some real estate signs in the area, they figured it was a natural tactic they should try as well. I contacted his campaign office to see what sort of feedback they've received and so far they've received 48 clicks - not a huge number, but still a positive sign that it's being used by a tech savvy (or curious) minority.

So far the QR codes are just being used on the large version of the campaign's lawn signs. The campaign has had a lot of people ask about it and they've seen a few related tweets and posts to the campaign's Facebook page.

Discussion

11 Comments

Michael / April 21, 2011 at 10:23 am
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QR codes are being used far too much these days...especially on subway ads where they are completely useless since there is spotty phone reception at best.
Felicia Stoneham / April 21, 2011 at 10:33 am
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Interesting suggestion that Andrew Lang needs all the help he can get; the battle in Toronto Danforth is very tight.

Layton has never managed more than about 48% of the vote and that was only when every star lined up in his favour.

With the NDP polling at a meagre 14.6% in Ontario right now it actually adds up to a very tight battle or even a Liberal win.

The QR codes will get more uptake from users very soon, as technology catches up with their availability...yet another contribution from technology that allows us to think and remember less.
asdg replying to a comment from Felicia Stoneham / April 21, 2011 at 11:38 am
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Layton's support is as rock solid as it gets. The Liberals were 7k votes behind in 2008, and the Greens beat out the Conservatives. In almost every single polling station he had the most votes (http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/elections-federales/canada-2008/ and put in Toronto-Danforth).
To call the race tight is ridiculous. Olivia is in for quite the fight though.
Pavel / April 21, 2011 at 11:55 am
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I personally use them, its way faster to scan a code then to type in an address on your silly smartphone. Plus the subway sign scans can be saved.
Ken replying to a comment from Michael / April 21, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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Have you ever scanned a QR code, Mike? Once you scan one, it's usually stored on your phone in your history. It can then be opened up in a browser once you're above ground. It's way better than jotting down a URL.
Global H / April 21, 2011 at 04:23 pm
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I think Rob Oliphant is using them too, in Don Valley East - we took a drive up Bayview the other day and pretty sure I saw QR codes peeking from the corner of his signs.
George O'Neill / April 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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We use QR codes on our real estate signs and serve east Toronto. I wonder if it was one of our signs? :)

QR codes are convenience features and cost virtually nothing to implement. From our own stats and those from studies, usage in Canada is still pretty low but the trend is upward as more and more people have smartphones.

Twelve years ago, URLs on signs were a novelty. Now they're everywhere.
Chase replying to a comment from Michael / April 22, 2011 at 02:40 pm
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Yeah, just like those darn UPC codes on all those thing people buy at the store. Used far too much these days.
Social QR Code / April 26, 2011 at 12:57 am
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2011 is definitely going to be the launch point for QR Codes!

Businesses have numerous ways to utilize QR Codes as a marketing tool, but none are better than www.SocialQRCode.com. Social QR Code allows its users to set up a mobile landing page for their QR Code with social features such as a Facebook "Like" button or a Twitter "Follow" button. Businesses can also create coupons that are sharable on Facebook and Twitter. Give www.SocialQRCode.com a try!
QR Blaster / January 17, 2012 at 03:31 am
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Here in the USA they are starting to catch on for elections, but slowly
http://qrblaster.com/blog/?p=28
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