button-primary-on-light
This is some text inside of a div block.

Secondary Section Headline

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. Sit aliquam interdum sodales augue varius ultricies arcu condimentum netus. Id imperdiet euismod.

placeholder
Secondary Section Headline
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. Sit aliquam interdum sodales augue varius ultricies arcu condimentum netus. Id imperdiet euismod.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. Non mauris at at ullamcorper enim mauris massa. Et id arcu placerat facilisis. Aliquam in eget velit faucibus nunc cras aliquam. Tellus nunc viverra imperdiet convallis laoreet lacus placerat mauris et.Cras massa rutrum bibendum pellentesque platea id.
Author-name
Here goes the author-name role
button-primary-on-light
Colorful QR codes
Create free QR codes

Design colorful and branded QR codes for your brand.

Updated
May 21, 2024
Read Time:
3
 minutes

The Big Game Harnessing The Power Of QR Codes In Commercials

Business Growth
The Big Game Harnessing The Power Of QR Codes In Commercials
Kayla Uytengsu
Growth Marketing
Capitalizing on the Big Game: Harnessing the Power of QR Codes in Commercials

Producing and airing commercials for the Big Game are massive campaign activations for companies, but are an incredibly costly investment. Whether on TV, YouTube TV, Jumbotrons, or other big screen showings, these ads often have very few tools that can drive successful instant conversions and accurate marketing attribution.

While QR codes on Big Game commercials are becoming increasingly popular, not every campaign gets the most out its investment even when QR codes are added to them. While slapping a QR code on your ad is a first step, executing them with best practices is the surest way to maximize the return on this pricey and important investment. QR code TV strategy can make your Big Game more than just a memorable snapshot, but a huge tool for driving revenue seamlessly.

Read on for a breakdown of the top QR code TV ads in the past and learn best practices to build your campaign in the future.

Use Flowcode TV Now

Welch's Fruit Snacks Sweepstakes with Mark Andrews (2023)

For their Big Game promotion, Welch's Fruit Snacks partnered with Flowcode to power their sweepstakes giveaway. The TV ad highlighted football superstar Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens encouraging views to scan the code for a limited time chance to win their sweepstakes contest.

Why we loved it:

This ad was particularly well executed as it followed some of the most important best practices for QR codes on TV.

  • Placement: The code was large and visible throughout the ad – easy for users to scan from any distance from their screen and improving the user experience of successfully scanning the code.
  • Call to Action: This ad highlighted a clear incentive for viewers to scan: one limited time sweepstakes for a specific product. Mark Andrews directly prompts viewers to scan the code with their phones as well as guides a CTA around the code, making this execution foolproof and flawless.

Coinbase's Elusive Bouncing QR Code (2022)

Last year, Coinbase excited viewers with a reminiscent bouncing colorful QR code on a black screen. This commercial was a creative play on old DVD loading pages and offered customers $15 worth of free Bitcoin. Aside from the bouncing block, there wasn't much else to the $14 million 60-second ad. Despite this, the intrigue generated over 20 million scans to their homepage, eventually crashing the website.

Why we loved it:

  • Creativity: While the concept was simple, generating mystery and hype with novelty is a great way to drive engagement and clearly worked. However, now that the novelty of this has worn off, we're not as convinced it would work today.

Why we didn't:

  • Security: Unbranded and mysterious QR codes can be intriguing, but can also open up a various security concerns for viewers scanning those ads. Following the commercial, many experts criticized Coinbase for setting up what could have been a messy situation. As phishing and malware attacks in the QR space become more popular, it will be incumbent on companies running QR enabled ads to ensure safety and privacy for their customers by working with compliant providers.
  • Efficacy: Ultimately, the Coinbase website wasn't able to handle the traffic driven by the ad. There's nothing worse than a broken user experience, which is why rigorous testing and quality assurance is key to a successful campaign.


StockX's T-Shirt QR Code Cameo (2022)

Last year, StockX was featured on parent company Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage's big ad, but with a twist. Not only was this commercial creative for its crossover with different industries, but the unexpected way the StockX team drove their presence was memorable. In the ad, a child wore a t-shirt with the StockX logo and a QR code attached. This cameo enabled viewers to scan directly to a limited edition bidding page for a huge Super Bowl prize bundle.

Why we loved it:

  • Incentives: Stock X used this ad as an opportunity not just to build hype, but to directly drive app downloads. The first rule of the contest was to create an account and download their app before bidding -- making it a strong conversion-focused marketing campaign. Stock X cleverly used this opportunity not just to generate noise, but to capture and retain new customers for the long haul.

Why we didn't:

  • Placement: While a QR code on a kid's t-shirt is a clever move that can drive intrigue, it limits how easy it may be for viewers to scan the code. Best practices always highlight that codes should be static, large, and easy to capture from a phone's camera for optimal performance.

Cheetos x Snapchat "Snap to Steal" with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, & Shaggy (2021)

To promote their new Crunch Pop Mix product, Cheetos highlighted the celebrity couple in a humorous ad about snacking. However, the twist with this commercial was their partnership with Snapchat to enable the 'scan to steal' feature for up to 100,000 bags for New York viewers. Working with Snapchat's team, every frame of the ad (all 1,440 of them) were engineered to be scannable with the Snapchat camera using unique codes.

Why we loved it:

  • User Education: In the ad, Chester, the Cheetos cheetah, shows the exact process of how to scan and redeem the prize both visually and in the script. This clear communication ensured users could clearly digest instructions and engage in real time without any hiccups.

Why we didn't:

  • Built In Limited Engagement: While partnering with Snapchat was an innovative cross-over partnership, Cheetos could have easily replicated this idea in house and with fewer resources by creating a TV-optimized QR code. Another downside of this approach was that the partnerships with Snapchat minimized the wider demographic that could engage with the ad; any Cheetos fans but non-Snapchat users wouldn't have been able to engage in time to redeem rewards, minimizing it's reach. Alternatively, QR codes are accessible to anyone with a smartphone.
Cheetos Super Bowl Ad

Pepsi's QR Code on Can Experience (2021)

Pepsi took an unconventional approach to their Big Game promotion in 2021 by focusing their QR placement on their physical products. While the company has a long-standing tradition of hosting the half-time show with performers, such as The Weeknd in 2021, they used their physical products in venue to drive exclusive experiences. Attendees were prompted to scan their product to access limited edition clips of the performance, exclusive merch, and more.

Why we loved it:

  • Innovation: Using different surfaces like product packaging are a great way for customers to build a personal engagement with product. This campaign did a great job of driving exclusive incentives to scan in a fresh way compared to other competitors approach to QR at the big game. It also had the benefit of creating an exclusive feeling around the campaign to drive noise.

Why we didn't:

  • Limited Reach and Education: While these cans were available at retailers nationwide, a lack of education in advance of the Super Bowl event itself may have limited how many customers were aware of the ongoing campaign and purchased the product. Combining this campaign with a joint TV and jumbotron campaign could have opened up a funnel of customers watching live who weren't current Pepsi buyers but were interested in the campaign offer.

Expensify Th!$ x 2 Chainz and Adam Scott (2019)

To drive app downloads, software company Expensify featured the two stars to highlight how they use the product to keep track of expenses in their own luxurious lives. The ending of the music-video style commercial features an animation with them scanning a QR code on a receipt driving customers to download the app.

Why we loved it:

  • Entertainment: Embedding this commercial as a music video and high production value ensured it caught viewer's attention and was one of the earlier adopters to incorporate a scannable QR code in their ad.

Why we didn't:

  • Timing & Placement: While the entertaining ad caught eyes, the lack of placement of a large and easy to scan QR code throughout the commercial reduced the efficacy of driving customers to the end goal (app downloads). Re-inventing this ad with a hard to miss code in the corner of the screen could have improved this.

How to supercharge your Big Game TV campaign

QR code on Big Game commercials have increasingly been adopted by marketers, but there's still lots of room for improving their execution. Big Game ads -- and all TV ads -- are costly campaign activations. If you're going to invest in this spend, make sure it goes the extra mile by harnessing QR technology and executing on it with the best practices possible to drive conversions and analytics.

Here are some brief learnings from this article:

  • Build Bold Placements: Make your QR code as clear and easy to scan as possible. Placing your code in the bottom corner of the screen, whether on TV or Youtube, throughout the duration of the video ensures the most engagements possible.
  • Use Clear CTA's: Help customers understand exactly how to engage with your QR code. Use arrows, the script, and text on the screen to guide viewers to pull out their phones and scan away -- clear instructions go a long way!
  • Create Exciting Incentives: Entice customers to engage with your ad using exclusivity and urgency. Using limited edition sweepstakes, access to content, and more are all great ways to drive interaction with your campaign.

Flowcode offers the best-in-class solution for bringing large scale TV activations to life. We even have a pre-built TV solution that enables you to identify the best scaling and production of a code for the specific TV activation you are running. Check it out here

Create a free QR code

Ready to generate a QR code in less than 60 seconds?

top voted leadership badges for Flowcode
Kayla Uytengsu
Growth Marketing

Colorful QR codes
Create free QR codes

Design colorful and branded QR codes for your brand.

Soc2 CompliantGDPR CompliantCCPA Compliant
G2 AwardsG2 stars

Articles you might be interested in

How Third-Party Cookies Are Changing the Way We Do Marketing
Flowcode's advanced geolocation data map enables users to identify the exact location consumers are scanning QR codes. Customers can access precise demographic data...
How Third-Party Cookies Are Changing the Way We Do Marketing
Why The Miller Lite Commercial Is The Future Of Advertising
Flowcode's advanced geolocation data map enables users to identify the exact location consumers are scanning QR codes. Customers can access precise demographic data...
Why The Miller Lite Commercial Is The Future Of Advertising
2023: The year of AI gift-giving and other holiday shopping trends
Flowcode's advanced geolocation data map enables users to identify the exact location consumers are scanning QR codes. Customers can access precise demographic data...
2023: The year of AI gift-giving and other holiday shopping trends