QR Codes, As Seen On TV

QR codes, short for quick response, are recognized by most as those little square barcode-esque things appearing on everything from magazine ads to cereal boxes:

Meet the QR Code

Smartphone users with a QR Reader App can scan the code for all sorts of interesting content related to the ad, product, or article associated with that particular code. In simpler terms, the QR code is a hyperlink. Scan it with your phone and it takes you to a website.

Ever since the birth of the QR code, marketers such as ourselves at CRG have been fascinated with its endless advertising uses and possibilities. Why? Well, think about it. Here’s a simple code that can bridge multiple medias – most obviously, traditional print media with the newest smartphone media. That’s a “Wow” in and of itself. Couple that with CRG’s mobile iCasting product featuring video…. “Home run,” as Creative Director Charlie Rasak would say.

So, already CRG has integrated QR codes into direct mail, flyers, ads, and other traditional print advertising.

But aside from bridging print and mobile media, how successful would the jump be from electronic to mobile? Say, if we were to put a QR code on a television ad.

Studies have shown that we are already multi-tasking when we’re watching TV. Many of us are actually on our computers, smartphones, or tablets while we watch. Plus, all of CRG’s television commercials already push viewers to visit the web for more information or “more offers not seen on TV.” It seemed logical to add an onscreen QR code.

But we weren’t positive on the pure mechanics of the idea. We’d add the QR code and hold it up for the entire 30 seconds of the commercial. But would that be enough time for viewers to get out their phone, open their QR Reading app, and scan? Would viewers be too far from their TV to get a good scan? Or, would they decide to skip the scan all together and just type in the web address? (Also on the screen for the majority of the 30 seconds.)

As part of Route 44 Toyota and Route 44 Hyundai’s April television campaigns, CRG added a trackable QR codes to each commercial…. and waited for the results to come in.

Screen Grab From The TV Spot

Now that April is over and the numbers are in – the results are surprisingly good! Between both television commercials, there were a total of 78 QR code scans. Data showed a direct correlation between air times and QR scans, validating the numbers. These QR codes appeared in no other medias. Additionally, the commercials only aired in the Rhode Island market on one broadcast station. So now imagine the impact in the larger Boston market with multiple broadcast stations!

Upon scan, viewers were taken to Route 44 Toyota or Hyundai’s mobile website, from which they could visit the full website and iCasting.

Excited by the data, CRG is planning more interactive QR/TV/iCasting campaigns.