One of my favorite movies of all time is A Christmas Story… it’s ironically also one on my least favorite movies of all time too.  I can’t quite explain this dichotomy, except to compare it to one of those songs that comes on the radio that you can’t stand but some reason find yourself dancing to every time it comes on (yeah I see you dancing to Britney over there).  Anyway, the storyline that gets me every time is Ralphie and the decoder ring.  Ralphie, a devoted listener to the ‘Little Orphan Annie’ radio show, collects the required UPC codes from Ovaltine packaging, one of the shows sponsors, to send away for a decoder ring.  It is supposed to reveal a secret about the future of the show (could have used one of those for Lost).  After weeks of anticipation he is finally able to crack the code: ”Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!’

Today, secret quick response (qr) codes are everywhere, and the modern-day decoder ring is already in your pocket.  Just point any smart phone scanner app at the code and it’s instantly cracked!  The same sense of inclusion and exclusivity of the Ovaltine Ad campaign is there but now there is an opportunity for additional interaction with the secret.

The title image of the lamp is my homage to Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour’s ‘Learning from Las Vegas’.  Instead of one or the other, the code allows the lamp to be both ‘decorated shed’ and ‘duck’ at the same time.  Decoded it reads: ‘This is a lamp’.  Only slightly more fulfilling the Ovaltine ad I know, but there is a nerdy humor there that inspired me.  But what captivates me most about the potential of qr codes is that they help foster a continued Brand experience past the advertisement.

This icon is a window decal for my favorite coffee shop Eco Java.  Why just tell someone you are on facebook when you can take them there?  Don’t just drink more Ovaltine but ‘Like’ it on facebook so that we can get to know each other.  Once you know what those funny looking symbols are, you start to see them everywhere.  Son of a bitch!


2 Responses to “:CODE”

  1. Stacia Says:

    My dichonic (is that a word?) song: This is Why I’m HOT!!
    And I must admit that I am bummed that I’m falling further and
    further away from the clubs you referred to (shoulda gotten that
    Droid… should open a facebook account), but at least I don’t have
    to mutter, “SOB”!

  2. […] am happy with the copy, layout, qr code and color scheme… not so in love with the font I picked… maybe a little too groovy. […]

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