Innovative QR Code Campaigns Show You How to do Them Right

A consumer stopped at an attractive QR code outside a storefront window; took out his Smartphone and scanned the code in anticipation. Much to his despair, the code redirected him to a ho-hum company website which had nothing specific to offer.

The great noise about QR codes as a marketing tool falls flat when companies with no web presence or an informative landing page ask their customers to scan a code. Faulty experimentation with QR codes often leads a user to a wrong web page; or a full-fledged desktop website that doesn’t support flash videos and contains images which cannot be viewed on a cell phone; and worst of all – to a page which does not exist at all! Thanks to these QR code slips, techies have left no stone unturned in tarnishing the image of QR code technology and predicting its doomed future. However, recent efforts from Bond No. 9 and Beefeater have shown that it’s too early to forecast how much QR codes can achieve.

Theme-based QR Code Campaigns in the Making

Beefeater London 2013 Bottle with QR Code

The QR Code on the creative shrink sleeve will take consumers to an interactive social media page and highlight the creative campaign [Image Courtesy: Coley Porter Bell]

The famous UK gin brand, Beefeater has unveiled a limited-edition ‘My London’ bottle design which features some of the best photographs from Londoners. In a campaign that asked Beefeater’s fans “what London means to them,” the company invited consumers to upload interesting photographs on its website. Out of the 1000 photographs uploaded, the best ones got featured on the shrink sleeve which also has a QR code that will redirect consumers to a YouTube video showing the story of this bottle’s creation and from there viewers can go to a microsite where all original images can be viewed along with the company’s Facebook page. With its product launch in more than 25 countries, the company is eyeing a huge market share for its position as the authentic London gin.

Companies like Beefeater are not just banking on placing QR codes anywhere and everywhere to get better exposure; they are working on creative and successful QR code campaigns which can boost their sales. Take a look at 7 most innovative QR code campaigns. Not only that, with loads of QR code tracking services in place, companies are testing and analyzing the success of their campaigns so that if the plan is not working in the right direction, they can improve it.

Products That Can be Bought Only via QR Code

Bond No. 9 can be purchased only via scanning QR code

Bond No 9 perfume not just flaunts its unique bottle design, it also shows how QR codes can be used innovatively to create a niche brand [Image Courtesy: Styleite]


A product that’s only available to users who scan a QR code to buy it? Many brand professionals would call it dangerous as it leaves out a huge market of non-online buyers. But, businesses are using such tactics for brand exclusivity. Bond No. 9, a new unisex perfume, can be purchased online only if you scan the QR code printed on marketing posters and on company’s Bondmobiles stores.  Though this approach makes the $250 perfume out of reach for non-Smartphone-users, the company sees this as a way to be unique in an industry that has witnessed nothing fresh in terms of marketing for the past few decades.

Custom QR Codes Replacing Traditional B&W

Sure, QR codes started as black and white designs, but have evolved overtime, featuring interesting, more creative patterns- some new ones with the company logo or an image in the code. Brands are doing away with the traditional black & white QR codes and embracing this new genre which works on a combination of design and technology. Custom QR codes reinforce your company or brand; provide a preview of what customers will get when they scan your QR code; and give a call-to-action or incentive to scan the QR code.

Innovative Custom QR Code

Custom QR codes come in various forms and have diverse applications [Image courtesy: SET and Pitney Bowes]

Scan. Take a quick and valuable action. Done!

Marketers have realized that placing a meaningless QR code not only offers no help to a brand but it can actually have a substantial negative impact on the company’s image. QR codes should create a call to action that is value driven.  These codes should redirect Smartphone users to a web address, video, phone number, e-mail address, online form, text message, contact information, news article, discount coupon, product/service details, and more. QR codes are not just about visiting a company’s website but about letting customers enter a sweepstake, make a purchase, download apps, and interact through social media.

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