The Age Old Question of Tag vs. QR

Jackie Micucci
Monday, Oct 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Last week, we talked to Chris Valentino, partner and executive creative director at Motive NYC, about what his agency liked about Microsoft Tag. His quote below sums up why Tag works for his agency and especially its Augmented Reality (AR) implementations:

Tag versus QR image

“When we approach any project we always look to find uniquely engaging ways to incorporate technology that makes sense and not just an add-on, but will enhance the project,” explains Valentino. “With the increased consumers awareness of QR codes and the perception of what they can do, integrating Tag can be an effective extension of any campaign. It can offer a brand many advantages over standard QR, from analytics to unique branding. Augmented Reality campaigns are a cornerstone of our business and what’s unique with Tag over QR design is it’s much more stable for image recognition and quicker to connect. From an AR standpoint, it’s great because you have the ability to customize a Tag and get added information and benefit.”

Just to keep the conversation rolling, here’s a quick break out of a few key points in the battle of Tag vs. QR:


  • QR— Black-and-white and simple color. While QR codes can be customized, it affects the quality of the scan.
  • Tag— Black-and-white, full color and custom images.


  • QR— There are multiple sites where users can get a QR reader and the sources can be confusing. Additionally, the quality of readers is inconsistent; some will not work with some QR codes.
  • Tag— There is one app to download from one location: http://gettag.mobi and the Tag app works with any Tag.


  • QR— The content is often hard-wired into the code, so the flexibility of the content depends on the source.
  • Tag— Tag allows for flexible content. The code points can be changed in seconds.

You can get more details about Tag and QR, as well as 2D barcodes in general by clicking here.

We know there is no shortage of opinions on how people feel about Tag vs. QR, so let us know what you think with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Comments
  • Steve Briggs

    10/24/2011 , 11:27 AM
    I don't think I've ever had a problem scanning QR Codes, but when I tried scanning Tags on Del Taco cups with the Tag reader, it wouldn't scan no matter what, so I don't agree with the Reader argument. As for the Content argument, not sure what your point is here - a QR Code can easily be made to point to a URL with dynamic content that can be updated anytime.
  • Mihai Alex

    10/24/2011 , 12:30 PM
    I wouldn't know about the first and last bullet points because I've only begun to use Tag, but the reader aspect immediately jumped to mind while asking myself the age old question of QR vs Tag... I mean it's so easy to just place a single URL helper next to your Tag instead of the annoying "If your phone is an iPhone, check out some app on the App Store, if you have an Android device, go to bla bla dot com, if you have a Nokia and so on and so forth..."
  • JayCee

    10/24/2011 , 6:53 PM
    The only possible advantage of QR over Tag is that you do not need an internet connection to view the content. @Steve I agree with the dynamic content on a site, but let's say you want to change the paramaters in the url to include DeviceID or Real Time location afterwards then you cannot change the URL syntax in QR to include that. Mihai I agree, hopefully one day Tag Reader will just ship automatically with phones.


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