COVID pandemic triggers a rebirth for QR codes

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Creative
8th Jul 2021
Posted By Tina Brown

Written by Tina Brown, MD of CCM Creative

I have worked in print and marketing for many years now, which means I’m old enough to remember the days when the QR code was going to be the next big thing in cross-media marketing, due to all of the wonderful opportunities it provided to truly blend the print and digital marketing world.

Yet despite all of the lovely campaigns I was a part of that utilised this cross-channel experience, I was always patently aware of how often the experience fell flat due to one simple thing - QR codes were not cool. Engagement was low and apathy was high. Then, along came 2020 and the requirement to track & trace, scan to check-in, scan to order, scan to buy and now all of a sudden, QR codes have become an essential part of daily life and engagement is seriously on the rise.

According to a recent Drum/YouGov study, in the last three months 45% of US consumers have used a QR code related to a marketing, advertising or promotional offer. This survey also reports that “QR codes are here to stay, with nearly six in 10 (59%) of all respondents saying they will be a permanent part of using their phone in the future.”

So with a resurgence of this clever little consumer engagement tool, it’s a good time to share some examples of a few stand out campaigns, both old and new, that make great use of this previously underrated technology.

Cygames

Cygames celebrated the anniversary of “Princess Connect: Re Drive”, a Japanese role-playing game, by using 1,500 drones to create a colossal QR code in the skies of Shanghai. Gamers were instructed to scan the code to access the game at the end of a drone light show.

Burger King

The "QR Whopper" giveaway consisted of three TV commercials showing a scannable QR code floating around the TV screen. Scanning the code with a smartphone brought the users to a web page offering coupons for a free Whopper with a purchase through the Burger King App.

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Tesco

Tesco set up virtual stores within high footfall public spaces, such as subways and bus stops, and invited people to download the Homeplus app and scan product QR codes to place an order for home delivery.

EE

To entice shoppers back into its stores, EE used QR codes that took consumers to an augmented reality (AR) activation that helped to transform every storefront into a flagship location.

Furphy

Australian brewery brand, Furphy, is reigniting a tradition with their latest campaign. Furphy coasters have been sent to pubs and bars and will display a QR code which pub-goers simply scan to launch the experience and submit their furphy (an Australian term for a tale shared over a beer). After recording their best furphy, storytellers will receive a free Furphy beer to redeem at the bar.

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Now that consumer engagement has shifted further into the digital space, there is more noise to cut through than ever before - which is why now is the perfect time to rediscover how to blend the online and the offline, and learn how to employ some innovative tactics to generate ROI from both.

Need some help with QR code application or an upcoming online/offline marketing campaign? Drop us a line for some expert advice today at marketing@weareccm.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!