Tattoo Shop Recruits Steady-Handed Artists with ‘Fill-in-the-Blanks’ QR Code Test

Berrge Tattoo - QR Code Recruiting Ad

While QR codes continue to be used and abused by marketers around the world, Instanbul ad agency BURO has found at least one useful purpose for them.

To help recruit new tattoo artists for Berrge, a local Tattoo Shop, the agency created a magazine ad that required a prospective artist to carefully fill in the black areas of a QR code.

Once the dark areas were filled in, the code could be scanned by a mobile phone to link the prospective tattoo artist to the online application form.

[via 2D Code]


Walmart Canada and Mattel Team Up for Virtual Toy Store in Toronto Underground

Walmart Mattel Virtual Toy Store

With only 50 days left to go before Christmas Day (yes, only 50), Walmart Canada and Mattel have launched a Virtual Toy Store in a busy area of Toronto’s PATH system near Bay and Front Street.

The virtual toy store features Mattel toy products such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends. Each of the pictured products features a unique QR code, that when scanned redirects to Walmart Canada’s mobile site, where a shopper can purchase the item and receive the special offer of free shipping.

The virtual toy store is set up at the same spot where’s virtual pharmacy was set up last April, and is similar in execution to the Tesco and Peapod virtual grocery stores.

I’m curious whether having the Walmart and Mattel brands on-board will help make busy pedestrians stop and scan the QR codes. There seemed to be little interest in the installation.

Dozens of people passed by while I watched, but few gave the wall even a passing glance, let alone made any effort to stop and take a closer look. Are these types of virtual shopping installations a bust?

The virtual toy store was created by Brandfire Marketing Group working with IMA Outdoor Inc.

[via BrandChannel]


Nestlé Outfits Chocolate Bars with GPS Trackers in ‘We Will Find You’ Contest

Kit Kat - We'll Find YouThat chocolate bar you’re eating might just be smarter than you think, it may actually be location aware.

Nestlé have distributed 6 chocolate bars somewhere in the UK outfitted with GPS trackers embedded in the packaging.

Once a buyer activates the GPS tracker, Nestlé’s prize team will locate them within 24 hours and deliver a check for £10,000.

As a secondary part of the promotion, Nestlé is also running a 2-week out-of-home campaign on 3,000 posters outfitted with NFC and QR code touchpoints.

The OOH touchpoints direct users to a mobile-friendly site where they can enter an on-pack code for an opportunity to win one of 2,000 £10 prizes.

The ‘We Will Find You‘ campaign was created by JWT London.


Turkish Airlines Uses QR Flags for London Scavenger Hunt

Turkish Airlines QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Just wrapping up today in London is a campaign from Turkish Airlines that leverages QR codes in a citywide scavenger hunt. Digital billboards on transit shelters display QR codes based on the national flags of countries competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Once the user has scanned a QR code they are redirected to a mobile site where the user can ‘checkin’ to that country.

Other features of the mobile site are; ‘Locations’ which show other QR Flags are in the area around you, ‘Stats’ show you the total number of QR codes you’ve collected, and ‘Offers’ displaying flight specials from London to that destination.

The person who ends up with the most ‘check-ins’ at the end of the contest will win two return ticket to one of Turkish Airlines 200 destinations. The campaign is a great example of how a mobile site can still offer an experience that’s equal to

[via 2D Code]


eBay Uses QR Codes to Connect Window Shoppers to Mobile Commerce

Ebay Inspiration RoomOnline shopping and auction site eBay has partnered with artist and interior designer Jonathan Adler to create ‘The Inspiration Shop’, a series of real-life shop windows located on Park Avenue in New York City.

Adler has filled the windows with items from the wish lists of more than 20 celebrity tastemakers. Each of the items features a QR code that can be scanned using the eBay app. The shopper is then linked to the eBay mobile site where they can purchase the item. Shoppers from outside the city can view the collection of items on the eBay Facebook page or by visiting the mobile site

The Inspiration Shop was created as a way for eBay to promote it’s mobile commerce capabilities. Shoppers now have the potential to research, choose and purchase an item from wherever they are. Emerging technologies such as Near-Field Communications and frictionless mobile payment systems will soon be in place to further remove more barriers to purchase.

Slideshare Uses QR Code to Connect Users to New HTML5 Mobile Site

Slideshare Uses QR Code to Connect Users to Mobile SiteToday Slideshare has just launched an HTML5 version of it’s site, which like recent makeovers at LinkedIn and Pandora allows for a a much better experience on mobile devices. To connect Slideshare users directly to the relaunched mobile site, they’ve placed a QR code on their home page. It’s an excellent example of using a QR Code in a simple, straightforward way to connect the website to a mobile experience.

When you arrive on the Slideshare mobile site a small unobtrusive popup appears at the bottom of the screen promoting you to “Install Slideshare on your phone, tap on the arrow and then Add to Home Screen”.

Simple, straightforward and it all makes sense.

When you are connecting users to mobile content it doesn’t matter whether you are using RFID, NFC, QR Codes, SMS or asking someone to type in a URL, the experience should be seamless for the user. I experience far too many examples in which I arrive at a mobile ‘UN-friendly’ site, and am left on my own to figure out what to do next.

Heinz Uses QR Code to Connect Ketchup Fans to Eco-Themed Contest

Heinz Ketchup QR CodeTo promote the adoption of Coca Cola’s Plantbottle technology, Heinz Ketchup has launched a eco-themed sweepstakes. US diners who find one of the ‘Guess What My Bottle is Made Of?  ketchup bottles on their table can simply scan the code on the back or text to 5700 to enter. (you can also enter by going to the Heinz Plantbottle website)

Answer a simple green-related trivia question (it doesn’t matter is you’re wrong or right) and you could win a hybrid or electric car (they don’t name the brand, just that the car will be rewarded when it becomes available), or a getaway for four to the Tiskita Jungle Lodge in Costa Rica.

I’m dying to see numbers from any of the recent campaigns that use QR codes to connect mobile users to online content. I know that the number of people scanning QR codes compared to the number who text a shortcode or typing in the URL is very small.

This experience is simple, quick and well thought-out; the bottles are on the table where they can easily be scanned by the diner as they wait for their food; the call to action on the back of the bottle is clear, and the mobile site is well designed. The whole experience took about 90 seconds from scan to contest entry.

The contest is open to residents of the US and runs until September 30.


Red Hot Chili Peppers Promote New Album with QR Code

Red Hot Chili PeppersOn August 30th the Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to release their tenth studio album ‘I’m With You’. The Rick Rubin produced album will be their first in five years, their last album being Stadium Arcadium in 2006. I’m With You marks the debut of guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, replacing John Frusciante who bowed out of the band in 2009.

To mark the release of the album the band will be broadcasting an HD recording of a live concert from Cologne, Germany (recorded earlier in the day) to theatres around the world. You can look up participating theatres and buy tickets on the I’m With you movie website.

While walking to work this morning I spotted a poster promoting the new album. The poster includes a prominent QR Code in the shape of the familiar Red Hot Chili Peppers logo. The code resolved quickly to a mobile-friendly website featuring a link to play and buy the album’s first single ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’, pre-order the album, watch a series of videos, view Tweets, and sign up for email updates.

Toyota Launches ToyoTags to Connect Car Shoppers to Mobile Content

Toyota ToyotagSome people have written that it’s ironic that Toyota has decided to use SpyderLynk’s SnapTag technology instead of QR codes. After-all it was the Toyota subsidiary Denso that first developed the QR Code in 1994 as a tracking system for their auto parts manufacturing business. That system, which came pre-installed on mobile phones in Japan soon became a widely used method to connect mobile users to online content.

A Toyota spokesperson explains in the press release that they “sought a barcode technology to extend their marketing efforts and get ahead of the innovation curve.” They’ve gone as far to name the version of SnapTag as the ToyoTag, but even after reading the rest of the press release I’m not sure why they chose SnapTag over other 2D barcode technologies. I suspect it may come down to the ability for a SnapTag to fit in better with a company’s branding. The other reason could be that SnapTag includes alternative connection methods for users to access the online content via established services such as MMS and Email.

The ToyoTag that you see here did not work for me. I have had the ScanTag iPhone app installed for some time and has worked fine on previous occasions. The ToyoTag scans correctly, but it ‘times out’ before it can access the mobile site. It maybe that the tag above may just be a sample and it not active on the SnapTag server right now. When I emailed a photo of the SnapTag to the email included on the graphic, I received an email back within just a few seconds that included a link to the Prius mobile website.

SnapTag’s are also be used in the September issue of Glamour and I’ll be reviewing that later today.

Nissan Adds QR Codes to Window Stickers of 2012 Models

Nissan Altima QR CodeNissan USA has launched a program featuring QR codes on window stickers of its entire 2012 lineup, starting with the Altima and Sentra models.

Car shoppers with smartphones can access a well designed mobile website by scanning the QR code. The website includes key features, images and a short video of each model. By sharing their current location through GPS or by entering their Zip Code, shoppers can instantly see current offers, inventory and request a quote from that dealership or one nearby.

People often justifiably scoff at the use of QR codes these days as they have been misused more often than not, but I think this particular use makes sense.

Shoppers who have already done research on their desktops want to see the cars in person. They may choose to browse a dealership by themselves, possible after hours while the dealership is closed (I’ve done this myself). Car shoppers can view the cars at their leisure without the intrusion of a salesperson. While some features, such as image gallery or videos make little sense in this scenario, good QR code scanning apps allow the URLs to be saved for later viewing.

In the near future this type of enhanced shopping experience could be triggered by a scannable NFC chip located on the car, however, I think the use of image-recognition has more potential. A mobile app that can check any car photo against a database could serve as a trigger to access new product information, local dealers, etc.

It would be a perfect idea for a company like AutoTrader. Someone sees a great looking car in a parking lot or parked on the street. The user captures the image with their mobile phone, the application checks against the database and displays if anyone or a dealership near your location is selling a car like that. I’m betting someone’s already working on that.