Welcome to Mobile Marketer. Skip directly to: main content, navigation, search box.
  • Email this
  • Print

Receive the latest articles for free. Click here to get the Mobile Marketer newsletters.

Top 10 QR code campaigns of Q2


Coca-Cola taps QR codes to drive consumer engagement

Marketers are constantly debating about whether or not QR codes are beneficial to their marketing efforts. Ultimately, Coca-Cola, Toys R Us and Walmart have proven that mobile bar codes are not only beneficial, but also crucial in driving consumer engagement.

Over the past few years there has been a love/hate relationship with QR codes. Nowadays, the campaigns have gotten more sophisticated and companies are constantly placing mobile bar codes on billboards, bus shelters and products.

Here are the top 10 QR code campaigns of the second quarter, in alphabetical order. The initiatives were judged on creative, form of engagement and execution. Results for the campaigns were not provided.

Sign up to receive Mobile Marketer Daily. The premier mobile marketing publication. Free!

Boston Market
Boston Market tapped QR codes to drive new and existing customers to its locations.

To add an incentive to get consumers to scan the mobile bar codes, the restaurant chain offered prizes.

The QR codes were part of a bigger initiative for Boston Market’s “The Unofficial Sponsor of Summer” campaign.

The campaign, which runs through July 29, offers in-store consumers the chance to win a dream vacation to Maui for four, among other prizes such as sporting goods and gift cards when they scan the mobile bar code found inside every restaurant.

When consumers scan the QR code, they are encouraged to enter the grand prize trip.

Using mobile bar codes helps Boston Market make the campaign more interactive, as well as lets the company connect with consumers on a deeper level.

Additionally, consumers are more inclined to scan QR codes when there are prizes attached.

Pepsi and Unilever’s Brisk Iced Tea let fans unlock exclusive content for the new Kinect Star Wars game via scannable Microsoft Tags printed on limited-edition bottles.

What was interesting about the campaign was the fact that the mobile bar codes were plastered on the products – something that users would not miss.

When users scanned the Microsoft Tag they were redirected to the company’s Facebook page and also had the opportunity to unlock exclusive Kinect Star Wars game content.

The campaign was a great way for Brisk to reach Star Wars fans.

Using mobile bar codes to let consumers unlock exclusive content is a great way to offer them something different.

Cadillac placed mobile bar codes on its print campaign that promoted the carmaker’s XTS model and featured calls-to-action that gave users different experiences based on publication titles.

The ad campaigns directed users to a campaign-specific mobile site that incorporated video, location and photos. The ads ran in several publications, including Fortune.

Specifically for the Fortune ad campaign, there were main pictures that highlighted specific features of the vehicle. Each photograph was framed by an image of a smartphone. The graphics were aimed at showing users that they could learn more about the car via their devices.

When users scanned the mobile bar code they were redirected to a mobile landing page where they could view videos or browse a photo gallery of the XTS model.

By placing QR codes on its static print ads, Cadillac was able to bring the campaign to life.

Coca-Cola is no stranger to QR codes. The company is constantly looking to make its campaigns better then the last and many times that involves mobile bar codes.

Earlier this year, the beverage giant placed QR codes on its packaging to further connect with new and existing customers.

This particular initiative took place in Spain.

Users were able to see calls-to-action placed on the packaging that invited consumers to scan to view content such as UEFA’s Euro 2012 videos and Coca-Cola SmileWorld – the brand’s online community.

Coca-Cola was smart to use mobile bar codes for the initiative, and even smarter to promote the campaign in a variety of ways, including a television commercial that illustrates how the initiative works.

Courtyard by Marriott
Earlier this year, Courtyard by Marriott rolled out QR code-enabled virtual concierge displays at 500 locations to make it easy for guests to access information about local attractions.

The campaign was part of a bigger push to better meet the needs of business travelers.

The new lobbies were decked out with 55-inch LCD touch screens showcasing information about local restaurants and other attractions that can be saved to a guest’s phone by scanning a QR code.

Guest can hold their device up to the QR code and automatically download information.

By incorporating QR codes within the hotel, Courtyard Marriott is able to provide its guests with a better experience.

Jamba Juice
While many companies use QR codes to drive user engagement, others such as Jamba Juice use the technology to build their database.

To build its email database, Jamba Juice placed QR codes on its in-store signage. In addition to growing its database, consumers can also opt-in to receive exclusive offers and discounts by becoming an insider.

When consumers scan the mobile bar code, they are redirected to the company’s mobile-optimized page where they can become an insider.

Using QR codes is a smart move for Jamba Juice as it encourages consumers to enter their information such as name, email, birthday, ZIP code and mobile phone number.

This lets the company learn more about its customers and better target them going forward.

Kenneth Cole
For Father’s Day, Kenneth Cole took a different approach to increase sales.

The retailer placed QR codes on its print ads that let consumers shop the company’s watch collection.

When consumers scanned the mobile bar code, they were directed to a campaign-specific mobile site.

From there, users were able to browse the company’s full collection of watches and choose to shop them via three department stores’ Web and mobile sites – Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s and Macy’s.

The campaign was obviously time-sensitive, therefore, by placing QR codes on its print ads, Kenneth Cole was able to read a broader audience.

Mobile bar codes present a great opportunity for marketers and are a great way to drive sales.

LA Galaxy
Soccer team LA Galaxy partnered with Shasta and SpyderLynk on a mobile bar code campaign that offered fans exclusive video content and rewards.

The mobile bar codes were featured on Shasta’s 12-Packs of Cola, Tiki Punch, Orange, Twist, and Grapefruit Zazz along with retail point-of-purchase signage.

When fans scanned the mobile bar codes they were able to access exclusive Shasta FlavorStyle videos which featured tricks and tips from the Galaxy Futboleros soccer entertainers.

LA Galaxy also incorporated social into its marketing efforts to continue a dialogue with consumers, even after they scanned the mobile bar code.

Social and mobile constantly go hand-in-hand and marketers are increasingly using both mediums to interact with users.

Toys R Us
Toys R Us continued its QR code push to promote more than 20 of its large outdoor items and let consumers visualize how the product would work and look in their own backyards.

Since many of the outdoor items were too large to display in-store, Toys R Us used in-store signage that let consumers scan the QR code of a product in which they were interested.

Consumers could scan the mobile bar code next to the product with their mobile device to view video footage or images of the item fully set up.

Last year, Toys R Us rolled out a virtual store that let consumers scan QR codes featured on billboards and shop the company’s 2011 Hot Toy List.

On-the-go commuters and travelers in the New York metro area were encouraged to take part in the initiative.

Walmart partnered with Procter & Gamble on a QR code campaign.

As part of the initiative, mobile bar codes were placed on bus shelters and trucks. Consumers were encouraged to scan and instantly buy products from brands such as Tide, Pampers and Gillette.

The campaign took place in New York and Chicago.

There were 12 bus shelters along the Magnificent Mile and Michigan Avenue in Chicago that were wrapped in a pop-up store experience.

The mobile storefronts featured nine limited-edition Olympic SKUs, as well as mobile bar codes next to products such as Bounty towels, Iams dog food and Pampers Cruisers.

When consumers scanned the QR codes, they were redirected to Walmart’s mobile site where they can buy the product.

Additionally, there was a P&G truck touring New York that gave out limited-edition samples to consumers passing by. Passerby were also given takeout menus that featured QR codes that let them shop the products no matter where they are.

The campaign was a smart way to drive user engagement and get them amped up about the campaign.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York

Associate Editor Rimma Kats covers media, television, research and social networks. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Software and technology, Coca Cola, Brisk, Jamba Juice, Courtyard by Marriott, LA Galaxy, Shasta, Cadillac, Boston Market, Walmart, Toys R Us, Kenneth Cole, QR codes, mobile bar codes, mobile marketing, mobile advertising, mobile

  • Trackback url: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/trackback/13261-1
  • | Follow us on Twitter |

Comments on "Top 10 QR code campaigns of Q2"

  1. Curtis Rasmussen says:

    July 20, 2012 at 11:37am

    This kind of marketing fluff is part of reason that the average VP of marketing's tenure is less than 3 years.

    I'd like to know how many people did something with the QR code and then exactly how their action lead to a quantifiable result that contributed to the bottom line. Without that it's really useless. It's like saying to an advertiser IMPRESSIONS, IMPRESSIONS.

    To say QR codes "drive customer engagement" doesn't say it actually works to create a customer or to bump-upsell or to create a database.

    Where are the numbers that PROVE it actually did something to justify using that space for it?

    In fairness to the author, perhaps the case study companies wouldn't reveal that information...but the article didn't say so.
  2. Malcolm Gibb says:

    July 13, 2012 at 4:18am

    I love QR codes and I do not think they will die a death anytime soon. However a successful QR code marketing strategy needs implemented correctly.

    I have seen some epic fails of QR codes - QR codes in the Subway (There is usually no internet!), QR codes on the side of buses (Stop the bus while I scan you!), QR codes on outdoor posters that are so small you can't scan them! and also QR codes that just lead to a website. QR codes must have some purpose or added value for me to get my phone out and scan it. However, if QR codes can in the future incorporate interactivity and augmented reality (think Blippar) then I think they will survive much longer.
  3. Den Stocks says:

    July 10, 2012 at 11:07pm

    Interesting article. I would be good to know what the actual results from the campaigns were. Of course the success the ultimate success is how well the landing pages were to get people to actually act on what was being offered. As far as the QR codes are concerned I’d really like to see some statistics on how many people accessed the landing pages or offer and what was more effective. I’m kind of wondering to about the mobile QR codes and how anyone would be able to use that.

    Anyway on a positive note, lots of different approaches are being used that I think can give anyone wanting to mobile market ideas to implement their own strategy.

  4. Gar Benedick says:

    July 9, 2012 at 2:45pm

    I agree it is good to see what others are doing with QR codes. I also agree that it is difficult to determine if these are teheran top 10 if there is no stats. However, I find that it is not a good business practice when a company uses a QR code (or any link) to a campaign specific landing page and then when the campaign is over, takes down the landing page and puts nothing there in it's place. I was able to scan the QR code on the side of the PGWalmart truck. It took me to a page on the Walmart site that says: "Sorry, we couldn't find this page. It may no longer exist."
    At least take me to the most relevant page you can find, not a mistake page.

    Keep the good articles coming!
  5. Zack Madden says:

    July 9, 2012 at 11:09am

    Without participation numbers or any other quantifiable results, I have no idea how you can qualify these as the Top 10 QR Campaigns. Sure, these are big companies engaging in the medium with an ad-spend, but this is useless unless you can prove to us that these campaigns actually achieved desired outcomes. Heck, any indication of outcomes, desired or otherwise, would be helpful.
  6. John David says:

    July 9, 2012 at 8:26am

    The Walmart/P&G campaign is a "top QR campaign"? Really? I highly doubt this achieved even a modicum of success given the fact that 1) it is completely insane to think people will be able to scan a QR code on a moving vehicle and 2) that when it is stopped the majority of consumers realize what the QR code is, will pause walking by the parked vehicle, take out their phone (if they have a QR code reader) and show all passer-bys that they're interested in getting info about diapers.
    Ok, so they used QR codes, fine. But to call this campaign "top" or even well-thought out is a stretch.
  7. Rick Schwartz says:

    July 9, 2012 at 7:21am


    Thanks for the excellent article. I work with small companies and one of my roadblocks when suggesting a QR campaign goes along the lines of "this is just a fad" or "I don't know anyone who has scanned one of thsoe codes" etc.

    These are great examples to demonstrate some ideas.

    Do you know if there are any good stats around showing how consumer response is to these kinds of promotions?

please click here to download now!