On Saturday, hundreds of drones took flight in Shanghai to perform a light show, culminating in the machines forming a massive QR code over the city’s waterfront, as first reported by Vice.
The event was put on by the Chinese video-streaming company Bilibili to commemorate the one-year anniversary of its release of the mobile game Princess Connect! Re:Dive, a popular Japanese role-playing game. The game was first launched in Japan three years ago.
The armada of 1,500 drones performed over the Bund, a waterfront area, using lights to form the Princess Connect! Re:Dive logo as well as the likenesses of various characters from the title. The final QR code links to the game’s homepage, allowing users to download the title and its one-year anniversary package.
Drone performances above Shanghai’s waterfront have become a more common advertising strategy over the past few years. However, the inclusion of a precisely rendered, scannable QR code is a particularly novel element of Bilibili’s advertising campaign.
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Bilibili used a similar advertising strategy last year to launch Princess Connect! Re:Dive. The publisher put a scannable QR code on the side of a building, which navigated users to the game’s download page.
QR codes are an everyday tool in China. Millions use them to add friends on social media apps and pay for items. Local governments even assigned citizens QR codes to track COVID-19 transmission, requiring residents to display their code before entering public venues.
Last year, Masahiro Hara, the creator of the QR code, expressed his pride that his invention was being used to help improve people’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo Credit: Bilibili
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.