Powa takes print ad shopping beyond the QR code
- Powa Technologies is helping get rid of the QR code for print ads and product packaging. It's new technology is activated by marketers uploading images into its system that can be scanned with a smartphone.
- Although not having to incorporate a QR code into the design creates a cleaner look and a simpler interface for users, it’s not clear whether people really want to interact with print ads digitally given the extremely low clickthrough rates of digital advertising.
- To date, 1,600 brands have signed up with Powa to try out the new technology.
Powa Technologies is hoping to change the look and feel of the intersection of print and digital advertising with tech that does away with the QR code.
Brands can upload images to Powa and then use those images in print ads and packaging making the entire image scannable by smartphone. This gives marketers a cleaner design palette to work with by not having to give up space for the code, and ideally gives users a simplified interactive experience with the print ad, although users still have to download the Powa app to scan the images.
Of course, simply making print ads shoppable doesn’t mean consumers want to interact with them digitally. Overall digital ad clickthrough rates hover somewhere below 1%, and “buyable” buttons tested on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest haven’t proven to be popular. According to GlobalWebIndex only 9% of Facebook users want to use a “buy” button.
The Powa Technologies scannable image tech does allow for watermarking so marketers can track the same ad across multiple places. Powa Technologies CEO Dan Wagner told Ad Age, "If I have one ad in 14 titles, I can watermark each separately, and even though the ad is identical, I'll know this publication converted better than that publication."