On a family ski holiday last week I spotted what seemed like a simple and quirky marketing idea using Quick Response (QR) codes on skis and snowboards.
The codes have been criticised in various circles for how impractical they are as well as the general deal fatigue they add to where they just offer discounts.
But on the Austrian slopes they were used to drive consumers to one local ski shop’s Facebook page.
While some sectors are considering how to incorporate QR codes and there have already been some whacky ones or, even whether to bother, the ski industry seems to have been putting the technology to some good uses for more than two years.
So, that got us wondering whether the ski sector is ahead of the game when it comes to the use of QR codes and if so, why?
For example, does it follow that skiers are more tech savvy and faster adopters of new gadgets than the rest of the holidaying public – if the volume of iPads, iPhones and iPods on the outgoing plane was anything to go by, then the answer is yes.
In addition, recent research on luxury trends, although we are NOT grouping all skiers in this batch, shows more than half like to have the latest gadget and almost three quarters are active Facebook users.
Back in January¬†EpicMix combined social media with RFID technology¬†enabling skiers to share their experience with friends.
And, a quick trawl of Google shows quite wide-ranging QR code usage from equipment specialists such as Oakley and Brunotti (QR code on ski jacket) using them for competitions and to direct consumers to websites respectively, to the BBC using them to promote Ski Sunday.
Perhaps the only issue with the Sport Brugger QR code on skis is that in all likelihood you will have already have chosen and paid for your skis.
However, the man in the shop said the initiative was popular so in this case it is more about generating buzz on Facebook.