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QR Codes are Big Enough for the Big Game!

If you thought QR codes were already having a moment, they’re having an even bigger moment now thanks to the Coinbase commercial that ran during Super Bowl LVI. Over 92 million of us were tuned into the Super Bowl according to Sports Media Watch. Within the first few minutes of the Coinbase ad airing, over 20 million viewers had scanned the QR code, thereby contributing to Coinbase’s ROI on this simple, brilliant ad.

The ad was smart for a lot of reasons:

  1. It broke through the program clutter by creating a near-moment of silence. If you were at a Big Game party and got up to refill on snacks and chat with friends, you could sense that there was something on the TV that you needed to pay attention to.
  2. The ad was long enough (one minute) to give people time to notice it, wonder “is this real?”, and pull out their phones to scan the code.
  3. It was inexpensive to produce, so the entire budget ($14 million according to Sporting News) could be invested in the placement and timing of the ad, which fell in a sweet spot towards the first third of the game.

The biggest reason, however, is that this ad took advantage of a cultural moment.

When QR codes were first introduced, no one knew what to do with them except the people creating them. Consumers had to download a special app to scan the code, and the code often brought you to a URL that would’ve been easier for you to type into your phone than go through all those steps.

Now, QR codes can be scanned with the phone’s camera – no extra app is required – and marketers finally realized that the advantage of a QR code was being able to transport the consumer to a trackable landing page that was specific to the campaign. But the greatest evolution with QR codes has been the sudden level of comfort that consumers have in using them, which the restaurant industry played a key role in as a result of the pandemic. In order to operate under restrictions, many restaurants took advantage of the fact that 85% of consumers have a smartphone in their pocket at all times* and started replacing paper menus with table tents featuring a QR code. Suddenly, QR codes were everywhere and their functionality was validated.

Now that consumers are comfortable using QR codes, as evidenced by Coinbase’s Big Game ad, marketers should be sure to include a QR code as a CTA option on your mail piece. There are many ways to utilize the code. Consider printing it in multiple places in your mailing kit. The outer will allow for quick access even before opening the envelope; inside you may want to include a personalized URL or PURL to create a one-on-one interaction with the recipient.

If your campaign is designed for the consumer to interact with while in market, scanning a QR code is the quickest and easiest way for a consumer to respond to your campaign, which ultimately will bring awareness to your brand and increase response rates impacting the overall ROI.

*According to the Pew Research Center


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