This year, it looks like QR codes are going to be as important as they’ll ever be, which isn’t saying much. The Magic Eye-looking codes that are stuck on advertisements haven’t gained much popularity, being relegated by a large chunk of the population to background noise on background noise. It’s probably a bad sign when you give people an extra incentive to take out their smartphones, and they don’t bite.
Junk Food’s new shirt tries to make those QR codes useful, something that to this point has only been accomplished in the pet tag market. The QR code plastered to Junk Food’s Rock the Vote shirt takes QR scanners to a website that guides them through the voter registration process, marking the beginning of what is practically guaranteed to be a spectacularly vicious presidential campaign.
For unspecified reasons, residents of Colorado won’t be able to use the online form. Regardless, there’s still no e-filing for the voter registration process – those who fill out the form on the other side of that QR code will need to print and mail the form the old-fashioned way. Which makes the QR codes not that useful or convenient at all, really.
But that’s probably not the point. The point would be raising awareness about the need to get out and vote, which will be bolstered by the accompanying social media campaign. Fans will be able to Like the Rock the Vote program, which will be featured at huge music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, on Facebook and spread the good word to their friends. That’s no insignificant thing, either, given that a quarter of the electorate in 2008 was from the Millenial generation. With programs like this, that number figures to grow this year. It’ll be interesting to see what that means for the 2012 election.
If you’re really into QR codes, you can probably go ahead and scan the one in the picture above.
Update: It turns out that if you are in Colorado, that is the only state where you can register through your mobile phone using Rock the Vote’s technology. Colorado is one of the 10 states that allow online voter registration. Their system is linked with Rock the Vote’s, which means there is no need to print, sign and send the form. There are 9 additional states that allow for online voter registration from their website, some of which Rock the vote is currently working with to link their technology.