We wrote about Blippar back in May before it launched, but now the app is out there and major brands are on board, we can see how well this alternative to QR works. 

This week, Tesco has been running ads in several national newspapers, with ‘Blippable’ content for users with the iPhone or Android apps. 

So is Blippar a better alternative to QR codes, or does it still suffer from some of the same drawbacks? 

First, let’s take a look at the Blippar app in action. I didn’t buy any of the tabloids yesterday, but there are a collection of ads on the company’s Facebook page that you can try the app with. 

Once you have the Blippar app, it’s a question of opening it and pointing it at the ad. Unlike QR codes, the whole ad is the response mechanism, so just pointing it in the general direction of the ad works. 

Here’s the Tesco ad: 

Once I hover my phone over it, it turns into this: 

From this point, I have the option of viewing today’s recipe, or finding my nearest store via Tesco’s mobile site. 

Another example is this Omega print ad: 

The app then shows me a 3D image of the watch:

Then allows me to try it on: 

There are other ads, such as this for Jurassic Park, which then sends me to a trailer for the movie, but you get the idea. 

So can Blippar become a QR code killer? 

This remains to be seen, and much will depend on building awareness of the app and getting it onto people’s mobile phones. 

Of course, having a major brand like Tesco using it for the ‘Price Drop’ campaign will help, and the ad does encourage readers to download the Blippar app. 

Blippar does suffer from some of the same drawbacks as QR codes, namely the need to download an app, encouraging users to make the effort to get their phone out and fire up the app, as well as the task of building awareness (a recent survey found that two-thirds of consumers don’t know what QR codes are).  

These drawbacks are not impossible to overcome. For example, if you can build awareness and give people a compelling reason to scan ads, such as discount codes or promotions, then uptake will grow. 

Blippar does have some advantages over QR codes. There have been some excellent uses of QR, but some of the Blippar ads do provide more of a wow factor, while the user experience is smooth, the ads and landing pages worked very quickly when I tried them. 

With several high profile brands on board, including Cadbury’s, Eurostar, Samsung and more, as well as Tesco, Blippar is one to watch.