A New Twist On QR Codes

Finally, a creative twist on QR codes. Recently, Guinness introduced the first product-activated QR code with its Guinness QR Cup. It may look like your standard glass, but when full of Guinness, it reveals a QR code.  When the glass is empty, you see nothing but a faint white pattern. The magic happens when you pour Guinness into the glass. The dark coloring of the beer fills in the spaces to complete the code.

As explained in an article from Adweek, http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/guinness-qr-cup-reveals-scannable-code-when-full-140602 , when you scan the code with your smartphone, it “tweets about your pint, updates your Facebook status, checks you in via Foursquare, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join you, and even launches exclusive Guinness content.”

This genius idea puts a new spin on QR codes and really exemplifies the potential that marketers have with these codes—which leads us to the question of whether your brand should be using QR codes and how.

An article posted by iMedia Connection http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/31810.asp gives a few simple, yet necessary tips for brands choosing to create their own code.

– Don’t leave it solely up to the QR code to gain the trust and engagement of the user. According to the article, “QR codes don’t create the engagement any more than the ‘like’ button creates the like.”  Communication is a key factor in informing and engaging the audience and enticing them to actually scan the code.

– Let your audience know where the code will take them and what it is all about. By doing so, he or she will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to participate.

– QR codes are essentially only as good as where they take you. Make sure your code takes the audience to some place where they want to be. Taking them to more marketing material isn’t going to excite the audience. Encourage them to interact with the brand. Depending on your brand, take them to a place that may lead them to more information or even a point of purchase.

Guinness proves that there are hundreds of ways to bring life to QR codes. With the increase in the number of people using tablets and smart phones, QR codes have immense potential to bring success to a brand if it is done right.

What are your experiences with QR codes, and do you feel Guinness may be on to something useful?

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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