They are commonplace in other parts of the world, especially in Japan where they originated, but quick response (QR) codes only recently found their way into the South African communication landscape. And, in a country where cellphones are more or less ubiquitous, they are catching on fast.
This week The Mercury will entice readers into the newspaper with these intriguing cellphone scannable patterns.
"The opportunities for us as a purveyor of news and a printed medium are endless," says Editor, Angela Quintal. "It's frustrating when we put the newspaper to bed and look at all the top-notch information and visuals that have been sacrificed because we simply can't fit them into the day's paper.
"Being a global media company, we have access to so much information and this user-friendly access platform gives us a direct way of sharing more of this. We're eager to get readers more involved with the newspaper and are running a teaser campaign this week to alert everyone to what we're up to.
"By the time the Springboks take on Australia in Durban on August 13, we will be ready to implement our first added-value offering in The Mercury. We're fortunate enough to have a sports team agile and energetic enough to take up the challenge. They will be putting together a post-match package that we believe will blow readers' minds.
"QR codes also present us with a flexible mechanism for promotions. A particularly exciting campaign we hope to implement soon will place The Mercury within an interactive sequence of events - something we're hoping will excite readers as much as it does us," concludes Quintal.
Published since 1853, The Mercury is on sale throughout KwaZulu-Natal every weekday morning.