5 Unique Ways to Use QR Codes in Digital Marketing

Posted by JF on February 15, 2010

As the popularity of QR Codes continually increases, there are several new and unique ways to be both creative and crafty in your marketing campaigns. Since you can add a QR code to anything where you can put an image, the marketing possibilities are virtually endless.  We thought it would be fun to examine five of these campaigns.

5. Swag Branding

Everyone loves free stuff, and corporate branding of free merchandise is nothing new.  Leave-behinds or take-ways or whatever you want to call them have always held a vague prospect of getting your company in front of new people.  By placing QR codes on free promo merchandise, the person receiving it has more ability to interact with your company and more of a reason to share your merchandise with others so they can also interact the product (and you have a chance to see just how many and how often and for how long that product’s marketing life lasts.

Since many companies have not taken advantage of the QR revolution, using this technology now is both advantageous and informative.  More people will eagerly scan the QR codes so they can participate in this fun and inventive technology if you include simple directions.

4. QR’d Product Catalogs

Many companies rely on large product catalogs to show all that they offer.  Recently, many of these have begun seeing a real advantage in incorporating QR codes into every product they sell.

A QR-sprinkled product catalog does a few things: one, you can offer up-to-the-minute information about product availability if you sell customized products; two, you can notify production if you see that a certain number of items has been scanned frequently preparing for orders;  and three, product catalogs can be printed less often.

The other obvious benefit of this feature is that it creates a whole new avenue for customers to interact with a company. Viewers can share product information and samples with anyone all over the world all with a simple click of their phone, recommending products or  making the decision to purchase more convenient, timely and social.

3. Artwork

Since the image of the QR Code can be adaptable it can also be made to include logos or specific images and even video. This function helps create an extremely creative marketing art piece.

For example, the Pet Shop Boys released the single, Integral, in 2007 in protest to the British government proposing a national identity card concept. The single featured a QR Code as the single’s artwork that linked to a website that informed the user of ways to counter this proposal. They also included a moving QR Code into their music video that anyone could snap with their phone and be directed to the same website while watching their TV.  Regardless of their political agenda, it was very successful in raising awareness of their cause, and can be for anyone else too.

2. QR Billboards

Recently marketers in Britain have started dabbling with the successful marketing strategies Japan has had with simply displaying QR Codes on billboards. The photo featured here was for a DVD release for the movie, “28 Weeks Later”. While this advertisement could have done so much more with its code link, its presence did make the DVD release much more popular than expected in that area because it got people talking.

The great thing about its presence is that it creates buzz regardless of the consumer’s knowledge of the technology. For those who do know what it is and how to access it, the QR image lets them interact with your product and website. For those that don’t know, a web address or simply the company name will lead to many search attempts to find out what is going on with the advertisement.

1. QR Buildings

Now this is certainly not for every business (!), but what one company has done in Japan is truly one of a kind. In 2009, The N Building was unveiled in the Tachikawa district of Tokyo. The

Photo: Omori Yuki

Photo: Omori Yuki

whole side of the building facing the street is one large QR Code. Once the image is caught on your phone, the outside facade disappears and leads to a variety of extremely unique and intriguing functions: information on shops inside,  reservations for stores and restaurants inside, and special coupons only available to those who have captured their building’s image. The most impressive function? Speech bubbles of employees working inside who are twittering, as well as the ability to see where they are blogging from within the building (and track them if they are moving and, say, tweeting on a mobile device!). It is a very creative and interesting new idea that has quickly made this a very popular destination within the community. To see a quick video about this building, click here.

Click here to read an informative article about what a QR Code is and other ideas of how to use them.

About the author

JF Steele has been a Graphic Designer and writer at SAI Digital for 3 years. Outside of design, his top 3 current obsessions are: Game of Thrones, Community, and the Alabama Shakes.

2 responses to this article

  1. Gilby said on March 7, 2011

    We are working very hard to implement QR Codes in our latest products, including QR business cards. This blogpost was helpful to us, especially when trying ot educate others in the company lol!


Leave a comment