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Advertising With Custom QR Code Stickers

They Live QR glasses

By Naomi J. Golbeck, Decals.com Staff


Awareness is enhanced with repetition. Human eyesight has been masterfully created to recognize patterns for our own survival. Having the microsecond instinct to spot a venomous reptile or prowling jaguar has kept us around for a long time. 

We have now figured out how to utilize this quick response ability to our modern advantage: the QR code, or quick response code. Ah-hA.

We have realized that the same eye-grabbing instinct can be harnessed by a simple phone camera and web browser. Show your camera the code, and it zings you to a webpage or social media platform. 

But this technology is not only intended for the device but is also targeting us. Walk into any restaurant, retailer, or salon and these codes are scattered about like sticky buckshot. 

Your vision is inundated with QR code designs. It’s like the movie They Live, but with stickers—and sunglasses won’t help. Consume!

Next time you’re waiting in line for a table, a movie, or a carwash, take a good look around. Almost everything you’d like to know, book, or order is a scannable fixture on any smooth, non-porous surface. Wink. We cannot help but notice patterns. 

However, there are ways to use these stickers without bedazzle coding entire walls and swamping your potential customer base.


Entice the Scanner

Your potential customer is anyone with a phone camera within the scannable vicinity of your sticker. It’s like self-geo-fencing. That’s a lot of people, and the trick is getting them to scan.

Bombard people with enough odd looking stickers and eventually sheer curiosity or long-lines and overstimulated brains will lead to some scanning. But it takes a surgical strategy to get willing participation—obligation is not attractive. People want to buy, not be sold to. Try adding a logo or a few words to your sticker in order to spark interest.



Fish bite because you’re fishing in the right spot, at the right time with the right bait. (Or dumb luck, it could always be some of that). If you use a plan of attack, so to speak, you improve your odds of success. Don’t waste time and energy endlessly casting—or stickering. 

Be intentional. Launch social media platform campaigns, so when someone scans your code sticker, they are taken to a post to learn more about your business. You could even use old fashioned mailers. Some small businesses still look at their junk mail, plus all they have to do is scan the cute code and suddenly they're visiting your website.



Use your sticker design wisely. Put some thought into where the sticker will be most useful. Bathroom stalls are a given, because that is an ultra captive audience. Vehicle windows are also an excellent place for these codes because of the traffic and parking lot factors. 

For menus or made to order items, placing a QR code sticker near the Point of Sale or checkout makes a lot of sense. It will definitely get used. But for other businesses, less is more when placing these codes.



Our high quality stickers and labels are great marketing utensils, but what’s more important is the right tool for the job. You can cut a steak with a butterknife, but a steak knife will work much better. I think Confusious said that. Just remember to be sparing with your stickers and always have a reason for placement.