Porsche’s Un-Porsche-Like Microsoft Tag

Dear Porsche:

I just saw your ad in Fast Company. This one. You know, the one with the cool Microsoft Tag in the upper right-hand corner.

Porsche Microsoft Tag ad

I almost missed it. But I won’t hit you with best practices for these things. Being cute with them is neither here nor there. That’s not what this letter is about.

I have to tell you – I’ve been watching these things over the last year and a half and I’ve seen some good ones and I’ve seen some bad ones. Not really codes. The content behind the codes. The thing that makes a complete experience.

Generally, I like these codes. I think they’re really effective at driving a deeper brand engagement with your current and/or potential customers. And easy. That’s the great thing about them. Snap a picture, get a cool experience. On your own personal screen. Wherever you are.

But I’m getting to the point to where I only like the idea of the codes. Because the execution of the experience has been disappointing. Not a big deal. There are far more things to be genuinely disappointed about.

But you see, I’m a marketer, too. So, I appreciate good brand experiences. And that leads me to your ad.

I see one of these codes on a Porsche ad and I automatically think that I’m going to get a Porsche-like experience. Luxury product, luxury experience, yes?


Very un-Porsche-like.

A 15 second video showing the “World’s Coolest School Bus” is a yellow Porsche? That’s it?

Rarely do I say that I’ve wasted 15 seconds on anything. But this is the feeling you left me with. I know, I’ll probably never be able to buy one of your products (and quite honestly, will any of your true targets ever scan a tag like this?), so my opinion probably doesn’t matter much at all.

But for what your brand stands for, I would expect to get a killer 15 seconds. Instead, I got a dud.

Using enabling technology like this can be fun and experimental, but I also think there’s such a thing as “on brand.” Regardless of the fun and experiments. I mean, Porsche should be Porsche-like in everything. Shouldn’t you?

Disappointingly yours,



3 thoughts on “Porsche’s Un-Porsche-Like Microsoft Tag

  1. Pingback: Porsche's Un-Porsche-Like Microsoft Tag |11th Screen | Total GT

  2. Dale

    +! (sorry, had to do that).

    You are correct, the execution of QR and 2D campaigns has been atrocious for the past year.

    Have you noticed that the last time anyone disclosed scan numbers was almost a year ago?

    I’ll give Microsoft’s TAG team credit for trying to encourage better use of codes than QR companies have done. But, it hasn’t rippled through the system. In part, because I think marketers sort of hate Codes, at least their Art director’s do.

    If you compare QR and 2D campaigns with the early efforts we’re seeing with NFC campaigns, it’s night and day. NFC campaigns are slick, fun and generate enthusiasm. QR and 2D campaigns are looking pretty dusty at this point.

  3. Mike Cearley Post author


    Thanks for the +1 :-)

    I would love to hear your take on marketers and why they hate codes, specifically art directors. Would also love to see some examples you’re referring to re: NFC campaigns.

    I do agree with you and think the way of the future, in terms of driving engagement from an otherwise static object/surface, is more NFC and less codes. We’ve just got to have the devices in market to scale. That, and campaigns built around it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.