Interesting QR Code Campaigns

QR codes have come a long way since their launch and over the years marketers have learnt to develop them in conjunction with the available technology, making them even more interesting. Their usage has come a long way since their primary purpose of receiving a text, revealing a rich media content or a simple message on prints ads, stickers etc . Today we see their innovative side in apps, on glasses and even on cars!

Guinness QR code Pint Glass

BBDO, New York and Guinness launched special QR code pint glasses where the code is revealed only after Guinness is poured in the glass. Lighter beers do not render the QR code and makes it look like as if the code is a part of the design on the glass. On scanning the QR code with, Guinness drinkers are invited to share their bar location and happenings with Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook and Instagram updates. Coupons and promotional offers are also available on scanning QR code at select locations.

This is a really clever idea because the code is revealed only when it is filled with a Guinness. The reason Guinness was able to pull this one off with some creativity is because it played on its color of beer vs the regular light /golden beer colors and used it to their advantage by coming up with a unique idea of standing out from their competitors. The coolest part is that the code is not visible when the glass is empty! Such ideas are cool to get people taking and spread such cool news about the brands via word of mouth at bars all over the city! I like the fact that it is simple and does not require much of an effort by the user to interact with it, after all people are not looking for a long boring experiment at bars when it comes to alcohol marketing, a simple instant trick is definitely more welcoming and fun!

Mercedes-Benz QR Code Trophies

To launch the new A -class model, Mercedes-Benz, Germany used the prototypes black and white patterns cleverly by replacing them with a QR code. People who spot the QR coded car should collect 4 QR code badges by scanning with the QR Trophy app. The collection of 4 badges automatically signs up the user to qualify  to win a trip to the world premier of the A-Class in Geneva. Besides the car the QR codes were also available on net and randomly distributed in the streets.

The QR code landing page for this campaign received over 50,000 visits and 80,000 trailer views, 2,860,000 Google hits and 6,800,000 Facebook impressions. The codes were not even popular among the users but also received huge response from the car-paparazzi.

This is quite clever since the prototypes of new models are already disguised in black and white and by using QR code nothing really changes i.e. the car design is still hidden but QR codes add fun and interest to the model. It is a fun way to create buzz about the new model and also engage the followers with its launch.

Emart 3D Shadow QR Code

Emart, Korea has come up with one of the most clever usage of QR codes, up to the same level as Guinness’s example above. Apparently the brief was to increase the sales in the lunchtime and keeping this in consideration  the QR code was active only from 12 to 1pm each day. Known as “The Sunny Sale” the 3D QR code was placed across the city and the sunlight casting a shadow on the QR code made it visible enough to be scanned. This made it all the more a Sunny Sale special considering it was naturally possible only in the afternoon/lunchtimes.

People who scanned the code received a special discount with 25% off redeemable in store or via the Emart mobile site. For such a mobile led idea to increase sales it is a good effort by Emart to include and consider the importance of having a mobile site in place. Over 12,000 coupons were distributed, Emart membership increased by 58% and 25% sales increased during the lunchtime hours.




How brands are using technology this Christmas

I found a few interesting Christmas marketing initiatives by brands who have been pretty active digitally this year using latest and popular technologies.

1) American Express 

A really sweet Christmas campaign by American Express using Augmented Reality. “Talking Tags”, a creative name for the campaign, is a DM piece. American Express customers are sent DMs driving them to a website to see the experience online.

On the site customers can create custom tags that can be printed and attached to friends presents. Using augmented reality users can add voice messages to these tags and hence the name “Talking Tags” telling their friends if they have been ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’.

When the receiver scans the card a pair of lips appears with a customised Christmas message. A variety of eight different voices are available ranging from British aristocrat accent to an old granny’s voice.

The campaign was created by Ogilvy, Sydney.  To send tags go to

2) Vodafone

“Make someone happy” campaign combines street art, social media and projection mapping in form of Christmas Laser Graffiti on the streets of Ireland. Vodafone on their Playground Facebook page asked their fans to share special stories of their loved ones. Selected stories are delivered as a special treat on Vodafone Playgrounds’s Facebook wall for the friends’ loved ones. A few stories are projected as laser graffiti’s on streets in Ireland.

The laser graffiti was designed by well know graffiti artists in Ireland. You can watch all videos on their Facebook wall.

3) Guinness

Who knew Guinness pints would be so much fun this Christmas! Christmas campaign called “Decorate your pint” engages users with Augmented Reality using Blippar technology. The image recognition technology of Blippar recognizes the Guinness label and reveals an overlay of Augmented Reality controls for users to decorate their pint. It seems like the app gave limited options to users. It would have been nice if there were more ornaments available, jingles and allowed users not just to share on Facebook & Twitter but also on Google+ I suppose now that it is slowly gaining popularity.

The decorated pints can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Check out some cool images on their GB Facebook page created using the Blippar.

4) Heineken

Heineken is engaging their 4 million Facebook fans with a lot of activities on their Facebook fan page. One of them involves a huge digital installation of a Christmas Tree on Clarke Quay, Singapore for their Facebook fans. It is created using 48 screens on a 11 meter tall installation. It will gather content from their Facebook page in form of a “Social Tree”, as shown in the video above. Christmas carols will be sung by 20 singers from all over the world.

Using the app “Heineken Social Tree” on Facebook, fans can create a custom social tree. The custom social tree allows users to chose from “Christmas slogans” and “frames” and also select which friends you want to select from your Facebook.

The Christmas tree is now live at Clarke Quay, Singapore. My tree went live on 20th Dec’11 at 8:28 pm. See the screenshot below as taken on the Social Tree app page 🙂 I am trying to get a copy of my video. I wish Heineken was better at sharing the social tree.