QR marketing finally here

Already a major hit in Japan, quick-response codes in outdoor venues are being tested in Toronto by Dentsu for Vespa.

‘QR technology has been incredibly successful for marketers in Japan and we expect similar success in Canada,’ Michael Gramlow, CD interactive at Dentsu Canada, tells MiC. ‘It’s a great way to connect with a youth target that’s notoriously difficult to reach – not just because it offers something new and different for them to interact with, but also because it generates a lot of street buzz.’

He adds that the wild postings now hitting Toronto streets are ‘a pioneering effort in North America, and Dentsu and Vespa are very proud to be the first to bring it to the Canadian market.’

The four-week campaign, which ends on July 15, involves the wild posting of 1,100 posters on construction boards and within frames on office buildings.

The target demographic is ‘youthful-minded individuals who are actively seeking more freedom in their lives, pursuing opportunities to spread their wings. They have a passion for riding/driving and they are willing to pay more for style and comfort, and tend to be non-traditional early adopters,’ explains Sue Kuruvilla, PR director for Vespa distributor Canadian Scooter.

In use in Japan for the past seven years, QR is a two-dimensional code that allows its contents to be decoded at high speed. So passersby with QR-enabled camera phones can snap pictures of ‘Scan Me’ text on posters and receive instant messages informing them whether they’ve won prizes. In the current campaign, these include Vespa t-shirts, 40% discounts off Vespa merchandise and the grand prize – a LX50 Vespa.

If the results of this promotion turn out to be sufficiently encouraging, the Vespa wild postings may be repeated in additional Canadian markets.