Although consumers are growing accustomed to seeing QR codes in print media, the technology has yet to be widely absorbed by television execs here in the US. That may be about to change. Online designer retailer, Bluefly, has stepped forth to test the waters with a new Closet Confessions ad campaign incorporating mobile barcode technology from ScanBuy which airs on Bravo. The Closet Confessions advertisements, which launched on Bravo media's various platforms earlier this month, are a series of 45-second spots that feature celebrities giving tours of their closets and sharing stories about their lives. The ScanLife mobile barcodes, or QR codes, will appear in the ads through November, giving viewers instant access to additional video content or a $30-off coupon upon scanning the QR codes with barcode scanning application on a smartphone.
"Bluefly has been looking for new and innovative ways to approach television advertising and to engage our fashionista consumers in a more dimensional and measurable way," says Bradford Matson, Bluefly's Chief Marketing Officer. "We were excited to bring the Closet Confessions episodes to television earlier this month, and have been thrilled with the response from Bravo's audience to the campaign. Now, by incorporating ScanLife mobile barcode technology into the ads, we are taking Closet Confessions one step further by providing viewers with a unique call to action that allows them to instantly access exclusive content and special offers from their phones while they are watching TV."
While this campaign is the first instance of a retailer in the United States using QR codes on television, it is not the first time we've seen a QR code used on TV. In May 2010, Warbasse Design created a designer QR code for the HBO series True Blood. This code, that ran during episodes of Lost in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York, was the first QR code on TV. "The goal behind the strategy is to extend the conversation," said Philip Warbasse - CEO Warbasse Design. "If you take a 30 second commercial and add a 2D barcode to it, you are effectively extending your time with your audience. For now, it's a clever way to make the commercial last longer," continues Warbasse, "but, soon QR Codes will become the preferred method for television advertisers to deliver extras to interested viewers."
As time goes on and consumers begin spending even more time on their mobile devices, we'll see this trend continue. Engaging with viewers and compelling them to buy without necessitating even a move off the couch is an extremely compelling proposition. It has been less than a year since we began seeing QR codes in advertising, and already they've made it to television. Not since the introduction of Photoshop has advertising been so rapidly affected. It is safe to assume that barcode technology will continue to experience exponential growth in the advertising industry.
Bluefly's Closet Confessions ads featuring the QR codes, which are issued and managed with Scanbuy's technology, will run through November on Bravo programming, including original airings, and select re-airings of the Emmy-winning series Top Chef, The Real Housewives of D.C., The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Flipping Out, and the new Top Chef Just Desserts.
The ScanLife mobile application is available for every major mobile operating system and can be downloaded for free by going to www.getscanlife.com from the mobile browser.