Best 2D Barcode Campaign 2010

At this time of year, individuals and organizations often select and publish their “Best of This” or “Best of That” item or list, so I thought, why not select my own “Best,” as it relates to the 2D barcode campaigns that I reviewed over the past year?

In a perfect world, I would use qualitative/quantitative and objective/subjective data to analyze and select the best campaign. But, because the vast majority of companies that have implemented 2D campaigns refuse to discuss or divulge results (i.e., scan rates, website activity, objectives achieved, product sales, etc.), in public or private, I am forced to base my analysis and selection on a purely qualitative and subjective basis. To help in my analysis, and to serve as a grounds by which I could fairly judge one campaign to the next, I developed this list of criteria:

  • Overall marketing strategy behind campaign
  • Value-added, value-driven properties
  • Customer-driven, enhanced customer experience
  • Optimized for mobile
  • Integrated across marketing channels/mediums
  • Unique, clever, new and different, meaningful, relevant

Granted, there are other criteria that could have been included in the list, but I consider them to be more tactical than strategic in nature and, as such, slightly less important.

With the above criteria in hand, I reviewed all of the campaigns that were posted to the blog before December 20, and determined that the campaign needed to adequately address each of the six criteria in order to be considered a finalist. Once the initial review was complete, I was left with about half a dozen finalists. From this short list, I compared the campaigns to the criteria once again, a bit more rigorously, and was able to select a winner.

So, without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to announce that FirstBank’s Denver International Airport campaign has been named the Best 2D Barcode Campaign 2010.

From the moment I first read about this campaign and spoke with the bank’s agency, TDA Advertising & Design, I knew this was a model 2D campaign. For the reasons/comments mentioned in my original article, this campaign addressed each of the six criteria in a manner that exceeded the other finalists.

If you are not familiar with the FirstBank campaign, here is a brief summary. Earlier in the year, FirstBank developed a “We’re here to help you save” campaign, and the idea behind the campaign was that the bank would find ways to help individuals save–whether they were bank clients or not–with things not necessarily related to banking and or investments. One very creative way the bank thought to help travelers “save” in the Denver International Airport was to set up 2D barcode billboards throughout the terminals. Displayed on the billboards were QR Codes which, when scanned, would enable travelers to download, for free (read save), a popular work of literature, crossword puzzles and/or Sudoku puzzles. From week to week, the download offerings were changed to keep the campaign fresh, and I was told the campaign would probably be expanded, due to its success, well into January. More than anything else, this campaign spoke value, customer/user experience and uniqueness to me like no other. And, to give an idea of the competition that this campaign was up against, know that I was also considering campaigns by Canon, Warner Bros., Columbia and Kellogg’s Special K.

As we enter 2011, I believe 2D will continue to evolve as a technology, as well as a promotional and advertising mechanism/tactic. But, first and foremost, companies need to ensure that they continue to educate consumers about the technology to ease and speed consumer adoption and comfort level. Additionally, not only do I expect to see more and more companies embrace and include 2D in their 2011 marketing efforts, but I also expect, and hope, to see more and more 2D campaigns that are of the same caliber, or better, than the FirstBank campaign.

Again, congratulations to FirstBank and TDA Advertising and Design.


3 thoughts on “Best 2D Barcode Campaign 2010

  1. did the returns match client expectations? Will they do another 2-d campaign? are they building off this one?
    if you answer “no” to any of the above it's not a success.

  2. Charles: Thank you for the comment. In speaking with the agency, the client was very pleased with the results of the airport campaign and, as such, planned to extend the campaign past the original end date. Whether or not the bank creates another totally different 2D campaign I am not certain.

  3. Roger thanks for the article and pointing out the thing that everyone misses – a plan! early adapters run out and jump into the newest technologies without considering what the goals are, their target market, shopper behaviors and real or perceived value. Vast numbers of people still ask me should I use social networks and I always bring them back to those simple questions your market going to respond to this, 2. what creative offering is going to accomplish your goals ie customer engagement, leads, loyalty branding and most importantly sales and ROI. Without a plan you can waste hours, days and weeks on the virtual tread mill without any benefit.

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