The QR code has become something of a ubiquitous addition to an ad campaign, however its placement – usually confined to the lower corners of a billboard – often undersells its relative importance.
A QR code is the gateway to interacting with consumers and therefore underselling it in your big media buy is an opportunity missed. In a bid to capture more code scanning traction, numerous brands have sought to integrate the QR code at the heart of the campaign.
Calvin Klein is a good case in point. The brand rolled out a massive billboard last year where the QR code became the central focus of the campaign, pushing a viewer through to a new uncut video of its latest TV commercial. However, a new trend is also emerging, whereby the QR code becomes not only the focus of the promotion but the core creative as well.
Insurance company Axa recently developed a massive QR code constructed out of thousands of paint tins, that was prominently displayed in Brussels, in order to promote its new renovation loan scheme. Scanning the code pushed a viewer through to a dedicated Axa portal, which then took them through the core benefits of the new loan.
It’s an effective street level campaign, which manages to retain the core ‘renovation’ message at the heart of the creative. However, as with all QR codes the proof is in the pudding, and engaging content at the billboard activation end needs to flow through to the digital application. Calvin Klein’s efforts mentioned above felt a little flat, delivering a basic YouTube link function and Axa’s innovation swiftly turns to traditional loan information that can be gleamed from the web.
Content is key here and once a brand is known for delivering credible and engaging content (be they offers or entertainment) via their QR code offerings, then these codes are likely to be sought out, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they are. Until this content pact is made brands will need to resort to ever more ingenious ways to lure consumers in.