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First QR Code Tattoo: Bar Code on Man's Chest Activates Advertising Animation

First QR Code Tattoo: Bar Code on Man's Chest Activates Advertising Animation

Quick Response Codes are specific matrix barcodes that when detected by QR barcode readers, and a growing number of mobile phone devices, pick up encoded information such as text, URL, or video. QR codes have become more popular in the U.S. as many advertisers use them as opportunity to connect with customers thanks to the growing number of mobile phones capable of detecting QR Code encoding. Usually seen in magazines and train billboards, Ballantine whisky has found a new QR code canvass for their latest "Leave an Impression" advertising campaign. One man's chest.

The tattoo was engraved by Paris-based tattoo artist Karl Marc onto his friend Marco's chest. When scanned, the QR code unnlocks an animation via a live stream on the brand's Facebook Page.


“'What makes this tattoo special is not just that it links to an animation,' Marc says. 'It’s that we will be able to change the animation as time goes on. As Marco grows older and his ideas change, we can create new animations that link to the Matrix Code.'

You’re probably wondering if the tat is fake — after all, that Facebook friend tattoo turned out to be an advertising campaign, as did the Ray-Ban tattoo. But Marc says that the ink is the real deal. And it does seems likely. There’s no hidden viral agenda here: Ballantine’s hosted the live stream of the process on its brand page.

Check out the code and animation yourself:

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