Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Nice Uses Of QR Codes - Emart, Guinness & Mercedes-Benz

QR codes have gotten a pretty bad rap and are generally shit on by the creative community (case in point, this genius Tumblr).  Until certain smartphone technologies mature, the fact of that matter is that it remains one of the best ways to quickly and (relatively) easily get mobile users to a site/app.  While there are definitely some absolutely abysmal executions out there, here are a couple of recent ones that work extremely well.

The first example comes Emart, the Walmart of Korea.  The Sunny Sale (created by Cheil Worldwide)  aimed to drive sales during lunch, which is a typically slow time for the retailer.  They created clever shadow QR codes which are only be readable/active in certain light, ie. between the hours of 12-1PM.  Users who scanned the sunny sale QR codes received special offers, coupons, etc.  It proved so popular they expanded it from 13 to 36 locations in Seoul.  Over the course of a month they sold over 12,000 coupons and increased store membership 58% month or month, but perhaps most impressive they increased sales by 25% during lunch hours.  Who says QR codes can't be effective!?

Additional Articles: Adverblog | AdFreak

The second example comes from BBDO New York for Guinness.  The QR code is printed on the glass and only works when Guinness (or another black/dark liquid) fills the glass, so don't try filling these glasses with lager, etc.  Once full scanning the QR code launches a site that easily/automatically tweets, checks in, posts a status update or sends an Instagram photo about where you are and the fact that you're enjoying a pint of guinness.  Very clever.
via Digital Examples

Prior to the official car launch, you'll often see speculation about the new model based off photos of the car 'spotted in the wild' on various aficionado sites.  Manufacturers combat this by wrapping the cars in plastic and generally camouflaging them so the new body/shape can't be deciphered before launch.  Jung Von Matt/Alster has cleverly tapped into this behavior by turning the camouflage of the prototypes into a form of media.  They've wrapped the new Mercedes Benz A-Class prototypes in QR codes.  The QR codes contain links to an app in which users hunt for trophies based off spotting the new A-class and give them a chance to win a trip to launch event.  Nice expansion of the idea of owned media and tapping into the existing behaviors of passionate car fans and paparazzi. 

Additional Articles: Digital Buzz Blog