Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Mobile Brand Crushes: QR So Beautiful

Prior to this year, trying to explain what a QR was to my friends and family was painful…you would think I was explaining quantum physics. QR codes aren’t new technology; in fact, we’ve been talking about them for years. Consumers have been hesitant to adopt them into their lives and many thought QR codes would simply be a distant memory.

But alas came 2020…I think we all know what happened in March of this year. Everything went contactless and QR codes got a new chance on life. My once baffled companions transformed almost overnight to QR code addicts as this technology became the primary way to access things such as restaurant menus.  Brands have also had their interests’ piqued with QR codes this year. Let’s take a look at some ways brands have introduced QR codes into their mobile marketing strategy recently.

Drink Responsibly 

If you’ve listened to this episode of REAL MARKETERS or viewed her LinkedIn profile, you’ll know just how much Stephanie Cox will love Coca-Cola’s use of QR codes (seriously, how does she not have a brand deal with them yet?). Coke is adding contactless mobile technology to its Freestyle soda machines. With this touchless option, consumers can safely get their soda-fix at their favorite restaurants without ever having to touch the screen, thanks to QR codes. Consumers simply scan the QR code to access a web page so they can select their desired beverage. The most challenging part of this experience is deciding on what soda to pick.  🥤

Chill Out

It’s no secret this year has negatively impacted the mental health of many. The stress brought on by COVID-19 has negatively affected 45 percent of adults in the U.S. It seems like we could all use something to take our minds off of the stress.

CBD seltzer brand, Recess, is looking to provide consumers with just that – a calming experience called, “Press Play to Pause Your Thoughts”. While the brand’s product might be enough for some to ‘mellow out’, Recess is partnering with a retro-inspired online radio station, Poolside FM to provide an upbeat, digital experience. When consumers scan the QR code located on Recess’ seltzer cans, they are transported back to the ’90s with a simple, yet addicting game of popping clouds. It’s the perfect mid-afternoon break to mindlessly zone out for a bit. And who knows…you might even find your new favorite playlist.

The Dancing King

Yeah, I know…Burger King already received an entire blog post dedicated to them. Are we beginning to become obsessed? Maybe. Do we care? No, especially after their latest stint. The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) said the show must go on and held their regularly scheduled award show on August 30 (without fans due to obvious reasons). With 79 percent of people ages 18-24 using a second screen, it’s no wonder Burger King took advantage of this new consumer behavior during the VMAs.

Burger King teamed up with rapper, Lil Yachty, to engage with viewers on mobile through QR codes and augmented reality (AR). Once viewers scanned the QR code, an AR performance of the King himself and Lil Yachty rapping would appear. I felt slightly like a performance director during the experience when I discovered users could change the location and lighting of the ‘concert’. And if having a personal concert in your living room wasn’t enough, Burger King also offered free Whoppers with a $1 purchase on their mobile app during the VMAs. Why would you ever need to leave your house again?

While 2020 might not go down as your favorite year – QR codes are certainly having quite the moment. Curious what else you could do with QR code marketing? See how these brands are using QR codes with shoppable TV. 🛍