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The printed editions of national newspapers La Vanguardia and El Periódico displayed this week, for the first time, a paid ad with a QR-Code on it.

Renault is launching its new Renault-Ze and their ad shows a QR to access the international site of their brand new car. The taglines of the product ”Don’t be the last one to catch up with the new trends” and the brand “Drive the change”, are both consistent with the QR-codes use.

From this blog we congratulate Renault for this initiative and celebrate that the big ones are starting to use this tool that no doubt will have an impact on printed ads.

The critical mass required to make QR-Code profitable/worth using is slowly being created by innovative and brave companies/brands (let me repeat, brave). As Mercedes says in one of their campaigns, In all lists, there´s always a first one, in this case, this one has been Renault.

We are not only flattering Renault … here are a few bullet points on what they did well and not so well on their campaign.


  • Innovation. The innovation factor distinguishes and re-positions Renault among the other ads.
  • Copys. Appropriate taglines for the campaign.


  • Illustration. ¿A picture with your mobile? To read a QR you need a QR reader application on your phone. There are many free available through App Store, Android Market Place…
  • Pedagogy . When innovating, you need to explain what this innovation is about (even if you only use 3 lines). Something along the lines of “Download your reader” and a recommended one would make a difference.
  • Mobilization. The “landing-page” is not a mobile friendly site. This page should have a mobile version for a better user experience when accesing it on the go. Failing on doing this, they are not making the most of the multimedia and cross channel interaction.
  • Metrics. The link displayed is the same (www.renault-ze.com) when accessing the page from the code or from a computer browser. >From a metrics perspective they wont be able to track whether the visits came from one or the other. If they are going to use it in other media and supports this would be key to measure the ROI of the campaigns.

Note: 5 pages ahead in the newspaper we found a BMW ad without any QR-code. Funny enough, the BMW mobile site is one of the best, if not the best, in the motor industry.

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