Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl taps QR codes for beauty inspiration
July 26, 2012
Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl cosmetic brand is using mobile bar codes to bring its static magazine pages to life.
CoverGirl is using QR codes to help users learn more about a product through mobile video. The mobile-equipped ads are running in the August issue of Elle magazine.
“A drugstore beauty company would use mobile bar codes in print ads to encourage engagement with the brand and essentially bring the brand to life,” said Bobby Marhamat, founder of Hipscan, Menlo Park, CA.
“The top brands in beauty, home and the fashion industries are using QR codes to further influence a potential consumer to learn more about a product, answer initial questions and thoughts they may have and ultimately make the purchase decision easier,” he said.
“In the real world, if you see an ad on a beauty product that includes a QR code that points to a video about a product or feature you ultimately are peaked, educated and further engaged all within a few moments."
Mr. Marhamat is not affiliated with CoverGirl. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.
CoverGirl did not respond to press inquiries.
CoverGirl is running the ads as spreads that are part of a campaign with singer Taylor Swift. The ads promote new eye shadows, mascara and eye liner from the brand.
On the bottom left-hand corner of the page, a call-to-action encourages consumers to scan a mobile bar code to learn more about how the products can be used to get Taylor Swift’s look.
Elle's August 2012 issue
The QR code is placed next to an image of the products with simple copy that helps consumers know exactly what will happen when they scan the mobile bar code.
The mobile-enabled CoverGirl ads
Although QR codes are gaining some traction, many consumers do not still fully understand the technology.
By making the QR code stick out on the page with a clearly added value – in this case video – the mobile bar code is highlighted for consumers and grabs their attention.
When scanned, the mobile bar code directs users to a campaign-specific page on CoverGirl’s mobile site that includes four videos that each represent a different look.
Each video is 30 seconds long and shows consumers how the singer wears CoverGirl makeup.
The videos on CoverGirl's mobile site
Linking users to a mobile video is a great way for brands to enhance a static print ad. Mobile video is a naturally immersive medium with high completion rates, meaning that consumers are likely to watch a video if it is relevant and tailored to a consumer’s preferences.
This is not the only mobile advertisement initiative from CoverGirl recently.
Earlier this year, the brand used mobile banner ads inside the IMBD iPhone application to promote a new lipstick product (see story).
“On average, consumers need to hear, read or engage with a brand seven times to make a purchase,” Mr. Marhamat said.
“With QR codes the number of touches it takes to make a purchase decision is cut in half — thus saving time for consumers and allowing merchants to get the relevant information across to encourage a purchase decision on the fly,” he said. “As the number of smartphone users increases in the United States, more consumers will use this technology to access real-time information.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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