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Procter & Gamble packs QR codes into print ads for multichannel interaction

Procter and Gamble

The Procter and Gamble QR codes

Procter & Gamble is loading its print ads with mobile bar codes that not only educate consumers about products, but also drive mobile sales for brands including Secret, Pantene and Gillette.

The “Have you tried this yet” campaign is designed to show consumers how Procter & Gamble’s products fit into personal care, family and home needs. The QR codes are appearing in magazines including In Style.

“At this point, consumers are more interested in learning more about a product - although I can see the trend moving to direct purchase as mobile is adopted even more,” said Bobby Marhamat, founder of Hipscan, Menlo Park, CA.

“The best campaigns I have seen tie in a non-digital ad to an engaging content piece that allows for mobile purchase as well,” he said. “However, if a brand is able to simply get through the first two parts — they are ahead of the curve.”

Mr. Marhamat is not affiliated with Procter & Gamble. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Procter & Gamble did not respond to press inquiries.

Scan for savings
The print ad features four of Procter & Gamble’s brands — Gillette, Tampax, Secret and Pantene.

For each brand, a small piece of copy next to a picture of the product gives users a quick run-down of what the it does.

The QR code appears prominently in the bottom left-hand corner and encourages consumers to scan it with their mobile device to get must-have information on the products featured.

When users scan the code, they are taken to the mobile site http://www.pgtryit.com/.

The mobile-enabled print pages

Consumers can then click to find out more information about Procter & Gamble’s consumer-packaged-goods products.

The product pages also let consumers read others’ reviews and view additional photos.

Underneath, a button encourages users to shop the products. A page then directs users to click to different retailers’ sites where they can buy the products, including Amazon, Target, Sears and Walmart.

Additionally, the site lets users type in their ZIP code or search by state to find local newspapers that include Procter & Gamble coupons.

Links to Facebook are also included across the mobile site, which links users to a campaign-specific Facebook page.

The campaign also includes Web components with a blog contest where women will share tips and advice for others on beauty, family and home categories.

Users can learn more about Procter & Gamble produtcs

Mobile goods

The Procter & Gamble QR code campaign shows how mobile is increasingly playing a strong role in multichannel campaigns.

In this case, the mobile bar codes link together Procter & Gamble’s print, Web and social media components.

Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble partnered with Walmart to place also QR codes on bus shelters and trucks. When scanned, consumers could shop products from brands including Tide, Pampers and Gillette (see story).

With consumers using their mobile devices as a go-to to both research products and drive impulse sales, Procter & Gamble is smart to equip its print ads with QR codes.

“It is no surprise that mobile is changing the way consumers search, shop and interact with the brands they love,” Mr. Marhamat said.

“Imagine presenting an end-user with a print ad that showcases your ad, and as they scan the QR code on the page, it takes them to a discount coupon, reviews on the product or an informative video,” he said.

“The consumer is not only left engaged, but the power of connecting with the user while they have simply seen a print ad is a marketer’s dream.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter at Mobile Marketer, New York

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Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Software and technology, Procter and gamble, mobile, mobile marketing, Bobby Marhamat, Hipscan

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