Why Not to Use QR Codes on Vehicle Wrap Designs

Why Not to Use QR Codes on Vehicle Wrap Designs


  • QR codes on vehicle wraps are not as effective as they seem, especially when it comes to real estate on the vehicle.
  • They may require frequent updates, adding unnecessary costs and labor.
  • Curious about how QR codes could actually be hurting your brand? Keep reading to find out.


Hey guys, Ryan here from Prolific. Today, I want to talk about a question that I get asked frequently—QR codes on vehicle wraps. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “QR codes are everywhere, especially post-COVID-19. They must be effective, right?” Well, not so fast. Let’s dive in.

The Vehicle Real Estate Dilemma

The first issue with QR codes on vehicle wraps is the real estate they take up. Sure, you could place a QR code on the side of your van, but how often is someone going to scan it? The only real opportunity arises when the vehicle is stationary. Instead of focusing on QR codes, your vehicle wrap should adhere to the 3W methodology—Wow, Who, What—to create a clear, distinct, and authentic brand impression.

The 3W Methodology: The Right Way to Design Vehicle Wraps

When it comes to vehicle wraps, the goal is not to get viewers to scan a QR code or visit your website. The objective is to create a clear, distinct, and authentic brand impression – allowing for brand recall, this allows potential clients to remember your brand when they are in market for your service and can search for you on google, and then call you. Of the 50,000 impressions you get daily (10M+  vehicular impressions/year/vehicle) nearly none of the potential clients are in market the very moment they see your vehicle. This is where our 3W methodology comes into play to maximize your vehicle impact to viewers and to your bottom line:

  1. Wow – Grab the viewer’s attention.
  2. Who – Communicate who you are.
  3. What – Convey what you can do for potential customers.

By focusing on these three elements, you can create a vehicle wrap that truly resonates with viewers and leaves a lasting impression.

The Potential Updating Nightmare

QR codes are not static; they change based on your current promotions, landing pages, or other marketing strategies. If you’ve permanently printed a QR code on your vehicle, you’re setting yourself up for a headache. You’ll need to lay new vinyl over the existing wrap to update the QR code. While overlaying new vinyl is an option, it’s an additional cost and labor you could avoid.

The Aesthetic and Communication Issue

Let’s face it, QR codes aren’t winning any beauty contests. They need to be large enough to be scannable, which means they’re also large enough to be an eyesore. More importantly, they don’t communicate anything unless scanned.


So there you have it, folks. QR codes on vehicle wraps might seem like a good idea, but when you dig deeper, they’re more of a hindrance than a help. They take up valuable real estate, require frequent updates, and don’t contribute to your brand’s story. Remember, your brand should focus on quick on-van communication using our 3W methodology, which stands for Wow, Who, What. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, check out ProlificBrandDesign.com to learn more about creating a prolific brand.