Clear Channel's NFC Mistake

by @edent | , , , | 8 comments | Read ~845 times.

I've talked before about advertising hoardings with combined NFC & QR codes. It looks like Clear Channel - the advertising behemoth - is getting into the game.

Spotted all over London are these bus stops with built in advertising poster. Look on the right hand side, and you'll see the interactive element.
Bus Stop with QR NFC

Clear Channel NFC QR It's pretty well designed, although the disclaimer "standard network rates apply" seems a little redundant - and weirdly placed. The QR code is oddly rotated, but that's just my personal preference.

The QR code is large enough to scan easily in broad daylight. If the code was integrated with the poster, it would also been backlit which would have been helpful when it is dark. The NFC scanned easily - once I'd flipped my phone's settings on.

Using a call to action of "Tap" and "Scan" assumes that the users will know what to do - and how to get an app if they need it.

The QR and the NFC both go to unique URLs - helpful for Clear Channel to see from where the hits are coming.

But what happens when you scan the hybrid QR/NFC?

This abomination....


What The Juddering Fuck? Why on Earth would you deploy dozens of these interactive adverts and then not point them anywhere useful? Even if the campaigns aren't ready, couldn't Clear Channel point to their YouTube Channel, or their Twitter feed, or anything!

Some people are going to interact with this poster and come to the conclusion that there's nothing worthwhile to be gained by attempting to scan again.

Clear Channel are really shooting themselves in the foot by deploying this before their technology is ready.

8 thoughts on “Clear Channel's NFC Mistake

  1. artesea says:

    Are the URLs unique per bus stop?

    1. They seem to be, yes. And different between QR and NFC.

  2. They've been on most of the bus stops in Cardiff since around November time last year, forever pointing to that useless holding page. That's half a year of uselessness.

    Sadly the tags are locked otherwise I would have pointed them to something else at least.

    1. Wow! That long? Didn't even occur to me to see if the tags were hackable.

  3. I'm tempted to peel a few off the bus stops and physically change out the tags, but not locking them. That way can get them to point to something useful, and then reprogram (is that the word for NFC tags?) them back to the original URL when it finally launches.

  4. Sadly I've seen some people push, with their fingers, where it says "tap", so yes, this technology is lost on a large number of people.

  5. Clear Channel clearly don't know anything about how to run a campaign, they've updated some of the posters next to the NFC/QR tags asking you to scan/tap but the URL still takes you to the holding page. Massive fail.

    Here's the poster they're using:

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