Add Stupidity to Any Ad



What is the call-to-action of this ad? Doing Kung Fu on your bed!?

I thought the code looked simple. But being the mobile enthusiast that I am, without thinking twice, I pulled out my phone to scan the code.

The reader could not recognize the code. I looked closer, and it said “Use this augmented reality code at”.Velux2




I fired up the website on my phone and found that it was not at all optimized for mobile. It was written in Flash, and the site took forever to load. When it finally finished loading, I could not tell what was on it because the images were way too big for my phone screen. Worse yet, the site completely ignored my scrolling, so I could not even tell what the deal was with this AR campaign.

Taking the hint and moving on would have saved me the embarrassment. But no, I assumed the marketers at VELUX did not know what they were doing, and went through the exercise again on my laptop.

It turned out this was not a mobile campaign! I was supposed to scan the AR code with a webcam! To VELUX’s credit, it did not say “Use your smartphone to scan the augmented reality code”. But in this day and age, I could hardly be blamed for mistaking the cryptic black and white box for a tag that my phone can understand. (Or could I?)

To participate, you hold the ad in front of the webcam, and tilt it left and right to see a 3D scene at different angles. Like this:



There was no practical purpose to this ad, and it was a stretch to call it augmented reality. The ad merely served as a joystick of sorts to rotate the 3D scene – and an ineffective one at that. No reality was being augmented here. VELUX would have been better off using the ad to unlock the scene, and then let me move around with the mouse or keyboard.

The anticipation was where the excitement ended. I thought about how much the ad must have cost VELUX as well as how much the company  must mark up its products to afford such a campaign AND turn a profit, and the disappointment was enough for me to dismiss the brand.

It is clear that VELUX has a team of silly marketers. But it appears MCDM has one, too. It serves me right for shooting my tag reader at every ad I see before reading the fine print.


4 Responses to “Add Stupidity to Any Ad”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Haha! I would have done the same thing, scanned the code. It kind of looks like a 2D barcode but like it’s not fully developed/grown up – a single-celled 2D code.

  2. Snowball Says:

    Is any company good at integrated marketing? Has any company gotten it right?

  3. meggiebrown Says:

    Wow, this is ridiculous. It seems like pointing a webcam at an add would be pretty clunky. It drives me crazy when marketers do things just to do them without thinking through the strategic objectives.

  4. Coco Tsai Says:

    This is really odd, haha! Like you, I never thought about that we should use our webcam to do the barcode scan…I also doubt who else would find out…And I still can’t image what users will see after scanning the barcode.

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