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Bud Light gets ball rolling for Super Bowl with QR code-enabled sweepstakes

Budweiser is gearing up for next year?s Super Bowl game with a retail promotion and sweepstakes for its Bud Light brand that includes QR codes to drive entries.

The Super Bowl earlier this year was a prime example of the growing role that mobile is playing in brands? marketing strategies, with mobile ads, second-screen experiences and applications all playing a part. The new Bud Light campaign for next year?s Super Bowl shows that QR codes are likely to be a key strategy.

?There are several touch points from print to mobile: email, text, social and QR codes being the most prevalent,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

?With QR codes and QR code readers becoming more familiar to the public, this entry point to mobile becomes more valuable and will continue to grow to drive engagement as brands recognize the need for a consistent content management process,? she said.

?Sweepstakes are a great way of adding an interactive component to a brands traditional advertising, which does these four things: extends the time spent with the brand by the consumer, gives customers an opportunity to get involved with the brand, allows the brand to leverage more cost effective engagements, and an extremely effective and measurable channel to continue the brand engagement.?

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Budweiser. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Budweiser did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobilizing fan experiences
In the Super Bowl XLVII promotion, Bud Light is giving customers a chance to enter a sweepstakes and win a trip to the Bud Light Hotel in New Orleans and tickets for the Super Bowl XLVII game. Customers can enter on the Bud Light Facebook page or by scanning a QR code found on promotional materials at retail locations.

For the Super Bowl, Bud Light is transforming a hotel in downtown New Orleans into a fan experience where parties and events will be held during the week leading up to the game.

The promotion also includes a tie-in with EA Sports Madden Bowl.

Second screen experiences
Bud Light is also holding an open casting call that will give one Facebook fan the opportunity to become the official Bud Light Hotel Facebook correspondent. Applicants can submit their videos on the Bud Light Facebook page, where fans can ?Like? their favorite videos through a special tab.

The Super Bowl earlier this year has been touted as the first ?second screen Super Bowl,? with about 60 percent of viewers using their phones during the game, per Ms. Troutman.

There was also a lot of texting, because this is what went most naturally with the broad reach of a Super Bowl ad, per Brennan Hayden, executive vice president and chief operating officer at WDA, East Lansing, MI.

"This year you are likely to see more tablet and smartphone tie-in simply due to the march of market penetration those platforms are experiencing," Mr. Hayden said. "But you will see predominantly texting, with an ever increasing amount of QR codes as well.

"One simple thing is that a QR code campaign nearly guarantees that you have smartphone users, with the engagement and content consumption patterns that go along with that," he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York