Sponsor Logos: Marlboro v F1, Liverpool turns Chinese

How a Barcode Could Make F-1 Racing Illegal on UK TV
In the UK it is illegal to show tobacco advertisements on certain television programs, like sporting events. Today, a bar code painted on the spine of a Formula-1 race car is causing problems for Marlboro and the Ferrari F1 cars sponsored by the cigarette maker. This story is worth reading if for this quote alone: “The bar code looks like the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. I was stunned when I saw it. This is pushing at the limits. If you look at how the bar code has evolved over the last four years, it looks like creeping branding.” -prominent English physician John Britton.

Carlsberg is bidding to increase its brand awareness in China with a novel one-off marketing ploy which will see its logo on Liverpool football kit written in Chinese. The specially designed kit will appear in Liverpool’s match against Chelsea on 2 May and marks the first time the logo on the kit has changed in 18 years. The lager brand is using the shirt sponsorship to capitalise on the interest of football fans in China. The move also ties in with the brewer’s role as partner of the Danish Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 event in Shanghai.

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Vuitton and Murakami QR Codes

I have seen a lot of coverage of the new Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami: Designer QR Codes. Sartorially-challenged savant Piers Fawkes opines: “QR Codes are the bar codes of the future, linking online and physical graphics to websites and multi-media. For the most part, the codes have still maintained an abstract look akin to their predecessors. A recently released designer QR symbol, produced by Tokyo based creative agency SET is looking to change all that with a stylized remake of the standard code. Mixing design with technological innovation, SET teamed up Takashi Murakami with Louis Vuitton to create a distinctive code featuring one of the artist’s characters and the classic LV pattern. The agency hopes this will add much needed style and character to the bland world of machine readable codes.”

louis vuitton qr code

Josh Spear adds: “How many of you know what to do with the image to the left? Hopefully most of you. Aside from identifying it as Murakami work, it’s a QR code for your mobile phone. QR (quick response) codes are like the Japanese version of bar codes, because they started in Japan. The code is scanned into your mobile phone via the camera and outputs a link. Think of it as a way to add hyperlinks in the real world. Normally, these QR codes look like deformed boxy versions of bar codes. But as soon as Murakami touches one we are all gaga. It’s amazing what a little Louis Vuitton pattern and color can do to a QR.”

My humble opinion? I am fascinated and excited by the opportunties offered by QR codes … as a connections strategist I am always thinking of ways to engineer links between the digital and offlien world and help people get to the next phase of their consumer journey…

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