Posters Advertising Rapper Pop Smoke's New Album Feature QR Code That Teases Music on Snapchat
Whenever someone says something about how print is dead, and digital is the future, we kind of scoff. Not because our job partially involves creating print media and covering printed products, but because it implies that there's some sort of binary where there can only ever be paper or digital.
Meanwhile, the print industry is constantly innovating and carving out space in a digital world, fighting against any claims of outdatedness or redundancy.
There are a million examples of this, but the latest is a poster advertising new music from the late rapper Pop Smoke.
The album is set to drop on Friday, but fans in New York and LA can find posters with QR codes on them. When they scan the QR code with their Snapchat camera, it gives them a sneak preview of some of the music.
QR codes aren’t new, but they’re having sort of a renewed moment after businesses turned to them during the pandemic. Instead of physical menus handed out to customers, for example, restaurants might place QR codes on the table for customers to access the menu on their smartphones. Vaccination sites used them for people to schedule second shots and sign up for health information. And so on.
This is obviously a lot more low-stakes, but it’s a refreshing take on the tried-and-true nature of a poster. With QR codes, you can provide more information than would fit on the physical object (or more than your graphic designer would be OK with cramming onto it). That’s what other companies have done with T-shirts, too. That digital aspect allows them to not only include more info, but change the messaging over time.
So, the next time someone tries to downplay the importance of a classic print product like a poster, tell them that they’re just not being creative enough. Everyone has a smartphone these days. But that doesn’t mean print goes away. It means the two can work together.