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The QR Code to Monuments

Posted by on in Monuments
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A manufacturer offers QR codes on tombstones. Are these a natural fit for monument signs as well?

Although I can appreciate the concept of QR codes, I can’t say I’ve yet to fully appreciate the results generated with them through my “smart”-phone. (Is it possible I’m the chump that instead managed to acquire a “dumb”-phone instead?)

If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they’re those small Rorschach-type layouts you’re now seeing embedded in print ads seemingly everywhere. If you scan or take a photo of the code (depending on the method used), you’ll be directed to a Web site filled with additional information about the product being advertised.

When I’ve gotten it to work, I have to admit the result is an exciting interactive addition to a marketing campaign. But when you don’t have the steadiest of hands (as I seem to be encountering with each passing day), trying to get those inkblot boxes to line up in the small box on my QR reader can be a bit of a trying task. And for those that require texting images, sometimes I have to snap multiple attempts to arrive at a photo that isn’t too blurry.

One day I’ll get the hang of it, but while reading USA Today this morning, I came across this story about a tombstone maker who was now adding QR codes that would direct interested parties to a Web site with a “life scrapbook” (I guess would be the right example of thinking) shedding light to visitors on the deceased’s life.

Okay, I’m not really certain I’m going to spend my time in a cemetery all day taking snapshots of these QR codes to find out more about the deceased’s life, but I can see this being somewhat cathartic for family members. Then again, who’s going to upkeep this Web site hundreds of years from now when the Planet of the Apes™ are browsing through the cemeteries, commenting on those “damn dirty humans?”

But with someone already starting to add QR codes to these tombstones—which still feels a bit weird, no matter how many times I type it—I wonder if this concept can also take off within the monument sign community. We’re already being told how LED message centers, dimensional props, cut-out letters, and other add-ons can spruce up a monument’s appearance. And I’m sure this would be another avenue for companies to market themselves to potential customers—and one that’s resting just outside their doors.

So will this become another popular option for sign shops to offer in monument design? Or is this an example that might be better off dearly departed?



  • Arnold Pollak
    Arnold Pollak Saturday, 13 August 2011

    Interesting article Jeff.

    It is amazing what we see these days in the name of PR and marketing.

    Personally I subscribe to the thinking that ONE CLICK is all you get, so I would be interested to know how many (what percentage of) readers / viewers will take the time to steady their hands to get that shot – as I don't see it happening unless they are VERY interested in the article (that said I have been wrong before).

    That said I do see where the application would be beneficial in monuments, etc., though I am not so sure about tombstones – but I do applaud the entrepreneurial spirit behind the idea.

    Arnold N. Pollak
    SignForce (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
    http://www.signforce.co.za" rel="nofollow">http://www.signforce.co.za
    http://www.signforce.co.za/blog" rel="nofollow">http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

  • Jeff Wooten
    Jeff Wooten Thursday, 25 August 2011

    Arnold, I agree that holding the QR reader steady is a huge problem (at least for me). What's interesting is that I just finished reviewing an article in our September issue where QR codes are being applied to vehicle wraps. My thinking is that those have to be accessed while the car is parked, right?:D

  • Arnold Pollak
    Arnold Pollak Sunday, 04 September 2011

    Jeff, may be correct, I never thought of it as an ONLY WHEN PARKED option, because to me, that is limiting the potential audience. Of course, that doesn't mean I am correct. Would love to hear from peopel who have it on their mobile billboards and those that use it to see if they think it is worthwhile.

  • William DeMoss
    William DeMoss Sunday, 16 September 2012

    We have had experiences where people were driving questionably trying to take photos of our wrapped shop trucks while going down the interstate. I would hate to see what would happen if we had QR codes on the trucks and people were trying to "drive and scan" it would be mass chaos.

    W. DeMoss

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