Hormel uses QR Code

Hormel, the company that brings us SPAM and a number of other brand name meat products, has placed a QR Code in a Sunday newspaper coupon circular. When the code is scanned, the consumer is brought to a 30-second YouTube video, which provides a quick food recipe using Hormel products. Simple, yes. Remarkable brand/mobile/2D experience, not really.  

While it makes perfect sense for a food company to offer a recipe via the scan, it makes less sense that the company does not leverage all of the useful and valuable information that is already being provided on the company’s website. Why not develop a mobile site and build it out with the content (e.g., company, brand, product, retail locator, healthy eating, social responsibility, etc.) that already exists? Yes, the company could even keep the 30-second recipe video and post that to the mobile site as well.  

Stepping away from content, it’s good to see that Hormel provided a URL address next to the code for those who may not have a smartphone, yet want to still learn more about the product.

This is the first use of QR Codes that I have seen from Hormel, so they are probably in an experimental phase, but even so, I get a sense that they have not fully thought through the strategic capabilities and user experience, as they relate to 2D technology. Push the creative envelope a bit and let’s not be so lazy or tight with the purse strings. You have to spend money to make money, the trick is just doing so wisely.  

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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One thought on “Hormel uses QR Code

  1. Let's face it, SPAM needs a make-over.

    It's widely perceived as a food of WWII (which it was). It's generally perceived as a mystery-meat we'd rather not know the actual ingredients of.

    But, SPAM is also cool in that Retro sense. Plus, they have a very cool museum (if you're ever in the neighborhood): http://www.spam.com/games/Museum/explore.aspx

    They have all the right ingredients (not on the label) for a clever mobile site and campaign. They just need to put it together…

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