The Best Mobile Barcode Campaign of 2011

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been busy reviewing, in depth and across a number of attributes, the campaigns that passed my 2D Barcode Litmus Test, as well as a number of individually submitted nominees, about 40 in total, all with the goal to select the best mobile barcode campaign of 2011. While the running was close and the final decision difficult to make, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of 2D Barcode Strategy’s 2nd Annual Best Mobile Barcode Campaign Award is Tervis, the Florida-based manufacturer of high-end tumblers. Congratulations! Here are my reasons why.

First, the QR Code is placed prominently in the print advertisement and is accompanied by a strong a call-to-action message (“Bring the holidays to life. Use your smartphone for holiday party tips, special holiday offers, and more.”). In addition to the call-to-action, Tervis also listed a URL address for consumers who may not wish to scan and/or don’t have a smartphone.

Second, the QR Code is easy to scan and the scan resolve content is original, fun, cleverly worded and unique in design. When the QR Code is scanned, the reader of the advertisement is brought to a mobile web page that displays a window with the following message, “Mingle with these smart people and get the holidays started right. Touch and drag to view the panorama image. OK.” The panorama image is of a holiday party and in the image are eight flashing orange touch points, which cannot be missed. Each touch point links to a different page, and the touch points include: 1) holiday smart quiz, 2) holiday gift ideas, 3) product/company information, 4) party excuse generator, 5) how to make a giant 3D snowflake, 6) personality plus (how to personalize a tumbler), 7) exclusive holiday offer and 8) holiday drink ideas.

Third, when just about any of the eight touch point pages are viewed, there is a “shop now” button displayed on the page. This is what mobile is all about. Enabling the consumer to shop when, and where, they want to.

Fourth, on just about every page are widgets to share the Tervis holiday experience/content socially via Facebook, Twitter and foursquare. This too is what mobile is about and/or offers…connectivity. Connectivity between the brand and the consumer, as well as the consumer and another consumer. Lots of companies neglect the social element when using 2D/mobile and it should be part of the strategy.    

Fifth, being a holiday-based campaign a promotional discount should have been offered, and it was…25% off certain items.

Sixth, stickiness. This is a term that I very seldom use or write about, but its importance cannot be underestimated. In this campaign, the original panorama image is what’s sticky. A reader wants to move from one touch point to the next to the next, etc., just to see what’s behind the orange dot and, in doing so, they remain on the site that much longer and the experience between brand and consumer goes that much further.

Seventh, value and benefit are words that I often use to judge a 2D campaign by to see if it is worthy of passing my Litmus Test. In this case, it is clear that value and benefit are being offered to the consumer via the 25% purchase discount, but what’s less clear is the value and benefit being delivered by the plethora of content (information) that the company provides in relation to a rather simple product, a tumbler.

As one reviews this campaign, it is easy to see how the company paid attention to 2D best practices and made use of many of them in the campaign. Additionally, it seems as though the company placed a good amount of thought into the campaign from a strategic perspective (i.e., not focusing on the code itself, but on the end to end experience).

Lastly, I spoke with Kathy Greif, Director of Marketing at Tervis, about the campaign and she said a few interesting things. First and foremost, Ms. Greif said, “The overarching goal of the advertising campaign was to increase brand awareness and within that, the QR codes, panoramic experiences and “smart spots” were specifically developed to encourage further engagement with Tervis. The QR code – leading to the panoramic experience – was an excellent, and easy, way to invite consumers to take one step beyond the print and out-of-home ads to learn about and experience the Tervis lifestyle.” Wow…there was a goal here. Often times, a goal seems to be missing and why? A 2D-based campaign is like any other…goals and objectives need to be in place. Ms. Greif went on to say that, “it’s critical, and it remains top of mind for us moving forward with the use of QR codes – having a seamless experience end to end is a key usability factor.” I could not agree more. There is virtually no reason why a 2D-based campaign cannot work as intended (i.e., seamless). When asked if QR Codes will be used in future campaigns, Kathy replied, “Yes, in fact we are planning an extension of the campaign in 2012. Additionally, our wholesale catalog includes a Point of Sale (POS) sign featuring a QR code which drives to a new brand video. So, while consumers are shopping at our retail partners’ stores, they can scan the code to quickly and easily dive into the Tervis world to learn more about our products and the Tervis lifestyle.” What’s great here is that the company is thinking across channels. 2D codes need not be just for print. 
Congratulations again to Tervis (Kathy and her team) and its agency (Sterling-Rice Group) for a job well done.

4 thoughts on “The Best Mobile Barcode Campaign of 2011

  1. Anonymous:When I scanned the code with my Android phone, I went straight to the resolve content. There was no question as to whether or not Flash was required. I suppose I should have added a disclaimer which states that I scanned codes with only one device (Android).

  2. Flash comments are valid and important. Among general mobilized consumers there are no second chances. 2D campaigns must consider all device types if they are to fulfill the stated mobile promise. I agree with Roger about this being a best in class example, with one exception: 8 touchpoints. Waaaay too many. Think of mobile users as "hunters" not "surfers. In-the-moment mobile engagements are about providing something relevant consumers can use right now. They are hunting for something, not sitting at a home computer surfing for something. 3 touchpoints has become the defacto standard. Otherwise, nice job by Tervis. Now let's wait to hear about scan rates and if the campaign met the brand awareness objectives…which is another great point. Mobile engagements should begin with a clear objective. Too many are using 2D campaigns simply because the technology is available and cool.

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