QR codes or quick response codes, the black and white square graphics that are coded with digital content for mobile phones came into existence in Japan during the 1990s as a means of tracking automotive vehicles during manufacture. Their usefulness in terms of high readability and greater storage capacity than normal barcodes has since made them popular for other applications – such as marketing, product identification, and time tracking. If there is a country that has tapped and utilized this technology, then it has to be China.
QR is now unarguably an integral part of the digital and physical environment in China. It is estimated that the citizens interact with QR codes 10-15 times a day and have been incorporated in nearly all forms of sectors in the region, on physical products, embedded in billboard ads, and on clothing with QR patterns featured on T-shirts, dresses, and trousers and now the most important is that it has been used by Chinese to set global trends in marketing and advertising.
On April 17, about 1,500 drones took over Shanghai skies to commemorate the first anniversary of a Japanese video game’s launch in China. The massive aerial dance of the drones projected a Japanese role-playing video game developed by Cygames, Princess Connect! Re: Dive to skies to narrate how it works as part of its anniversary celebrations which were organized by the city’s online entertainment company, Bilibili.
The company even wow the whole globe when it released an incredible video of the drones forming a giant scannable QR code in the sky that prompted the viewers to download and install the game on their smartphones by scanning through the QR projected on the skies. The videos and the images of the event staged above Shanghai’s scenic waterfront promenade, the Bund have gone viral on social media globally in what netizens described as an unmatched intersection between science, technology, art, and marketing.
China now sets new ground-breaking global marketing standards as its major cities’ skies continue to increasingly become a battleground for advertisers hoping to seize the power of drone performances and QR technology. On March 29th this year, Hyundai’s luxury vehicle brand Genesis employed 3,281 drones to create its logo over Shanghai’s skyline in celebration of the brand’s arrival in China. The illuminated drones set a new Guinness World Record for “The Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.”
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