Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Brands Turning to QR to Engage with Consumers During COVID-19

To say our world is different right now is an understatement. Social distancing guidelines are still in effect, graduations look a little different this year, and to top it off, murder hornets are apparently a real thing we have to worry about now. Despite all of this, there’s also plenty of good to look for in our new world. Before COVID-19, how many walks did you take outside? How many times did you wish for a free evening to learn a new recipe? Or when’s the last time you were able to spend so much time with your loved ones?

Brands have recognized consumers’ desire to adopt a more positive outlook and have entrusted the use of QR codes to deliver more upbeat mobile experiences. Through things such as free burgers, upbeat playlists, and notable artwork to decorate our “homes” with, QR codes offer the potential to make this time a little more bearable.

Yes, There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

To our fitness tracker’s dismay, we’ve increased our TV viewing time by 35 percent. I’ve set a new PR for how many episodes of House Hunters I can watch in one sitting. Brands are taking notice, even the king….well Burger King that is. The fast-food burger chain’s new TV commercial has a floating QR code that, when scanned, sends the user a coupon for a free Whopper with a purchase through its BK mobile app. Burger King is no stranger to creating crush-worthy mobile marketing campaigns and hopes to reward those who are doing their part to stay home with a “QR Whopper”.

A Beloved Show Returns for One Night

If you didn’t know this about me, Parks and Recreation is my favorite TV show. So you can only imagine my excitement when I learned that the series was returning for a one-night special to raise funds for Feeding America. During the episode, Feeding America had placed a QR code for viewers to scan if they wished to donate to the organization. So far, Feeding America has already raised $3 million for its COVID-19 Relief Fund with this partnership. And if you’re wondering, yes I did shed a tear at the end.

Meet Your Official Summer DJ 

Ok, so your summer plans may not be exactly what you were hoping for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time in your backyard. Chiquita and Spotify have teamed up to be your official summer DJ by creating several playlists (my personal favorite is Tropical Vibes) and remixes of their famous 1950’s jingle. If you’ve already got your phone handy at the grocery store, you can scan the QR codes located on the bananas’ iconic blue label.

What made Chiquita dip their toes into the music game with Spotify? It was a combination of several new lifestyle changes consumers have adopted. It’s no secret that people are cooking more than they did prior to COVID-19; 54 percent of surveyed consumers said they have been cooking more than they did prior to the global health crisis.  And according to a recent survey surrounding Americans’ new lifestyles, one-third of consumers indicated they would like to see brands create more optimistic ads. So creating these upbeat playlists consumers can listen to on Spotify while trying to master Chrissy Teigen’s banana bread recipe is a no-brainer.

Onto New Horizons 

Even though we may not have any recent Instagram-worthy trips to show off, there’s one thing that people can’t stop bragging about: how well their Animal Crossing farms are doing. Animal Crossing has been a popular pastime for many during this self-isolation. And though I do not own this game, I’ve heard from others that Animal Crossing is the perfect mental escape. Now let me ask you, what’s another great escape (pre-global crisis) that people used to visit to escape their reality for a few hours? If you said museums, give yourself a pat on the back. The Getty Museum is offering players the opportunity to create a gallery-worthy home in Animal Crossing by you guessed it, QR codes. Users can scan a QR code located beside their desired piece of artwork on the museum’s website to decorate their virtual houses. Your actual home may not be spic and span right now, but at least with this experience, you can brag about how sophisticated your Animal Crossing dwelling is.

While these were a few fun examples of ways brands have turned to QR codes to add some happiness in our lives, I encourage you to channel your inner-Chris Traeger (sorry, another Parks & Rec reference) to look on the bright side of things. Give us a shout @Lumavate on Twitter with some of the good things you’ve experienced recently!