QR code Marketing

Improving brand awareness and brand engagement have always been a major focus for most any business. But with so many companies taking up more space on TV, the internet, and print, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. However, one thing that has been helping certain brands garner more engagement and exposure is the adoption of QR codes.

There are a plethora of businesses out there that have started to rapidly adopt the use of QR codes in their branding and marketing. By leveraging this simple barcode into the marketing mix, brands can increase their overall engagement and get more people to check out their business.

What Is a QR Code?

Originally designed as a barcode to track the stages of assembly for automobiles, the QR code has turned into a more mainstream way of adding data to something that isn’t a computer. For instance, you can now add a landing page URL to these QR codes that will redirect you to a company’s website when scanned with a smartphone. This makes for a revolutionary way to get more people to your website from a non-internet touch point.

How Are Brands Using QR Codes?


The move that really brought QR codes into the marketing fold was an old Super Bowl ad from Coinbase. Coinbase is a crypto and stock trading application that launched a Super Bowl ad that was just a QR code that bounced around the screen. The ad worked well as it went against the grain of a typical commercial and opted for simplicity.

Once users at home scanned the QR code on their screen they would be redirected to the Coinbase website with the option to claim a free $15 in Bitcoin, a popular crypto currency. In the end, the QR code ended up costing Coinbase roughly $13 million in Bitcoin for just a 60-second ad slot. Their website also crashed multiple times due to the influx of users.

Adidas Footwear

Another instance of brands using QR codes has come from the fashion industry. The popular brand Adidas has started to incorporate QR codes into their products. Mainly with their new shoes the Pulseboost HD. The popular running shoe has a QR code that is printed on the tongue of the shoe. When scanned this code takes you to a spotify playlist that is relevant to your geographic location. For instance if you’re in Nashville, TN and scan the shoes you’ll get a country playlist. If you’re in Los Angeles you’ll likely get a pop playlist. This is a great way to show that QR codes can be used for more than just website sessions, they can be used in creative ways to boost engagement with your brand.

Louis Vuitton

Another fun way QR codes can be used is to make the barcode design your own. So long as the data points are scannable, you can do whatever you want as far as designing the code. 

Louis Vuitton did this recently in Japan. Famed Japanese designer Takashi Murakami collabed with Louis Vuitton to create a line of handbags. To promote the new line, advertisements were designed to include a QR code that was designed by Murakami. The code incorporated symbols and elements that are part of both prevalent in Louis Vuitton and Murakami’s individual brands. Doing this helped garner more attention as it was a bold design change for just a plain QR code.

The Takeaway

The key takeaway is that you don’t need to rely solely on internet advertising to generate more brand engagement. By thinking outside the box and trying bold new strategies with QR codes, you can begin to increase your brand engagement and awareness seemingly overnight. The more outside the box you get, the more likely your audience is to engage with your brand.