On April 28, ScanLife began a new campaign called the “ScanLife Barcode Jackpot.” To promote the campaign, ScanLife sent this email to subscribers on their email distribution list and, perhaps, others received the email as well.
To enter and play the Barcode Jackpot, subscribers are instructed to first open or download the ScanLife code reader app on their mobile phone, and then to scan the UPC code found on cans and bottles of Coke or Pepsi. The more scanning a person does the greater the odds that they will have a winning scan which, in return, entitles that person to a gift card from a major retailer like Best Buy, Macy’s, Amazon, etc.
I have been trying to look at this campaign as objectively as possible, but I just don’t get it. From Coke and Pepsi’s perspective, what good does a campaign like this do them? Nothing in the email states that a can or bottle of soda has to be bought in order for someone to participate in the Barcode Jackpot. So, what’s in it for Coke and Pepsi? Are they really in need of that much more product/brand recognition? From an individual’s perspective, I would like to believe that they have more to do with their time then to search out cans and bottles of Coke or Pepsi to scan their UPC codes all day long. And, for what? A gift card of which no dollar amount is discussed or provided. From the retailer’s perspective, all I see is that they are on the hook to provide a gift card. I wonder what it cost them to get involved in a campaign like this, if there was an expense at all.
Judging from comments on ScanLife’s corporate blog, it seems as though the campaign had a rough start and the company had to make some modifications to the Barcode Jackpot with respect to size and type of products that can be scanned. But I am particularly amused by a comment made on the blog on May 3, which reads, “Interesting….closely resembles an email I sent Scanlife a late last year but in discussion for a partnership…oh, well, thanks for doing the work (particularly the consumer participation/adoption test) for us! When our platform debuts we will certainly site your “flash-in-the-pan” efforts in our feasibility recommendation!” What’s that all about?
In summary, it seems as though this campaign is all about scanning for the sake of scanning. No real value or benefit to the consumer. A gift card, yes, it has a monetary value, but how much time is one willing to spend scanning not knowing what lies in the balance? Are we talking about a $20 gift card or a $200 gift card? Also, it surprises me that ScanLife would focus this campaign on UPC codes, as opposed to 2D barcodes. Maybe there is some mysterious objective the company hopes to achieve via this campaign, I’m just at a loss to figure it out.