Ever wonder what the heck these black and white squares are that keep popping up all over the place? (Go ahead, scan it…it really works).
QR codes (quick response codes), like the one above, are two-dimension bar codes that are slowly sweeping their way through the U.S. They’re another fun means of mobile marketing (among other things) and this week’s “A List” has a few examples for you to check out.
1. Vigoro and Home Depot
A few weeks ago I picked up a hanging basket from Home Depot. Low and behold! The store had QR codes on all their Vigoro hanging basket tags. This was fabulous because I’m not one to take great care of plants and things. I scanned the code and was brought to a page with a thumbnail image of the plant, instructions for watering and how much sun it should get, and other gardening tips. Awesome!
2. Caribou Coffee
This summer, Caribou has frequent drink cards as part of their “Stay Awake for Summer” campaign. The QR codes are located on the back of these cards and customers can scan them in order to sign up for weekly deals and promos. As with many QR codes, you have the option to click the link, share via text message, email or social networks. Caribou, you know I have no problem sharing your goodness with others!
3. Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys
If you’re bonding over Thin Mints with a fellow Girl Scout, chances are she may hand you a trading card (complete with a QR code) as a way for you to reconnect with other Girl Scout alumnae. Scan the code which takes you to the Girl Scout’s alumnae webpage where you have the option of joining their email list.
4. Calvin Klein
Last summer, instead of a racy ad, Calvin Klein put up a few of these billboards with a QR code viewers could snap with their smartphone (which then led to a commercial) as part of their ad campaign for fall 2010. Fun and different, though I’m not sure if I’d be one to snap pics or scan QR codes off of billboards (though with a intriguing caption like CK’s, maybe I would).
5. Dish Network
Your junk mail even comes complete with QR codes now! Just this week I was getting ready to throw away the daily junk ads when I noticed Dish Network had a QR code you could scan to learn about its latest offers. However, I will say that the link/website for this particular code was really not optimized for mobile viewing. I quickly grew frustrated and didn’t look at the offer.
I’ve also seen QR codes used in TV commercials, though I’m not sure how effective they are (it’s not like I’m sitting by my TV, smartphone in hand, with my QR reader or scanner app open so I can quickly scan the code before it leaves the screen in 5 seconds). But to each their own.