How To Use QR Codes In Ads (Print and Video)

If there’s an upside to the pandemic of 2020, it’s that consumers were forced to reacquaint themselves with QR Codes. 

People quickly learned if they wanted to read a menu – or get their hamburger – they were going to have to scan a QR Code at a restaurant.

Therefore, using QR Codes in advertising and marketing has seen a resurgence in the last few years. 

They’re becoming more prevalent with each passing day in print ads and on television.


Why Should You Use QR Codes In Your Marketing?

Upon scanning with an iPhone or Android device, a QR Code (short for “Quick Response Code”) simply takes the user to a specific destination, such as:

  • a URL
  • a video
  • to download a contact to your device
  • sending a text
  • making a phone call

There are a lot of ways to use QR Codes. Therefore, if you’re going to use a QR Code in your advertising or marketing materials, it is important to send them directly where you want them to go.


Mistakes Businesses Are Making With QR Codes Right Now…

After the Coinbase Super Bowl Ad racked up 20 million conversions in one minute (which you can watch here) and crashed their server, there was no doubt that QR Codes in ads are here to stay. 

But that was just one code hovering around the screen like a DVD screensaver.

The biggest question that Coinbase didn’t answer was why people should scan that code.

The allure was simply the fact that it was a QR code with a variation of the song “Money” playing in the background. 

DON’T copy this strategy (like most businesses are doing right now!). 

The most effective thing you can do with a QR code in your ads is to tell the audience what will happen when they scan that code!

Using phrases such as “Find out more” and “Learn more” don’t do much to get people to scan. 

The Coinbase QR Code Super Bowl Ad from 2022 received over 20 million converted scans in one minute, crashing their server.

If You Want People To Scan Your QR Code, Do This:

First, give them a reason to scan

In other words, promise them a payoff that they will want to get

Make them a “no-brainer” offer (2 for 1, 75% off, etc.).

In fact, your offer can be free. “Download our recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies on Earth here,” for example.

Secondly, make sure that the QR COde takes them directly to your promise. If you’re promising that they’re going to get the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in history, then when they scan the code and it goes to your website, the trip must take them directly to your promised item or page. 

Finally, your promised item must be at the top of the page

When I created The QR Market, one of its core tenants is: I wanted people to be able to get your offer in as few clicks or taps as possible.

If they have to go hunting for your “promise,” they’ll leave quickly.

Tim Burt