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How Marketers Are Creatively Using QR Codes

25 February, 2022

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who watched this year’s Super Bowl, you probably remember one ad in particular. Coinbase’s one-minute ad with a color-changing, floating QR code over a black screen drew many conflicting reactions. Not only did the cryptocurrency ad include a touch of nostalgia with its classic DVD screensaver throwback but also defied traditional commercial structures. Instead of telling a story, or even saying anything at all, Coinbase focused on drawing attention to a single QR code.

While Adweek named the ad the best ad of the Superbowl, USA Today’s Ad Meter ranked it last on their list. Regardless of positive or negative reviews, it’s clear Coinbase’s commercial succeeded in getting attention. After the ad initially aired, Coinbase tracked more than 20 million visitors to the QR landing page, cashing it to crash for a brief amount of time. The company’s app even rocked to No. 2 in the App Store’s ranking of the most popular free apps.

Bringing QR codes outside of physical spaces

QR codes made an initial comeback during the pandemic when restaurants resorted to using QR codes in lieu of distributing paper menus. Soon after, businesses increasingly used QR codes on flyers, print ads, and direct mailers. Now, marketers are taking to the leap beyond these physical spaces into consumers’ homes.

As OTT advertising becomes more popular, advertisers see an opportunity to bring users from their TV screens to their mobiles devices. QR codes can work well for TV ads because they add an element of interactivity while providing added analytics to marketers and digital promotions to consumers who use them. Rather than typing a URL into their phones, a consumer can easily scan the code to access a website within a matter of seconds. 

Coinbase wasn’t the only brand to test this theory; Rocket Mortgage and Crypto.com both incorporated semi-hidden QR codes into their spots as well. Though, advertisers are learning QR codes perform better when prominently placed in an ad rather than slipped in as an Easter egg.

If you’re considering testing out QR codes in your OTT advertising and overall marketing strategy, consulting industry professionals is the best next step. The team at Vibrant Brands is immersed in marketing trends and best practices and can advise you on how to implement a solid digital marketing plan for your business. Connect with us today and start elevating your brand with Vibrant.

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