QR Code Marketing Examples You Should Know (& How To Echo Them)

Are you looking for a unique marketing tool that connects print advertising to digital content? What about a way to track print marketing ROI? QR Codes are a solution for both! They are entirely customizable and trackable, which makes them a favorite among marketers.

But it’s normal to be skeptical about QR Code marketing, especially if you’re new to the concept. After all, small businesses don’t grow into large enterprises by investing in anything willy-nilly. 

Lucky for you, we know just what you need to make a well-informed decision on whether to incorporate QR Code marketing campaigns into your overall strategy—and if so, how to do that effectively. 

Here, we look at a few examples to help get your creative juices flowing. 

Top reasons to use QR Codes in your marketing strategy

You’re probably already familiar with QR Codes for inventory management. After all, the Japanese company Denso Wave first created these symmetrical little boxes for precisely that purpose. 

But QR Codes aren’t confined to a single use. A quick look at the many QR Codes on digital ads and print ads will reveal just that. Their versatility knows no bounds!

Why are they every modern marketer’s best friend? Read on to find out:

Flexible solutions and types

When you choose QR Code Generator PRO to create your QR Codes, you’ve got a wide variety of QR Code types for whichever content you’d like to convert into a QR Code. This includes videos, social media profile links, digital coupons, PDFs, sound files, ratings, images, website links, and more. 

When you convert your content into a QR Code, you can customize it on a mobile-optimized display page. For example, if you use an Image Gallery QR Code, you can upload multiple images, choose which image to highlight, add further info about your business, and even include a call-to-action (CTA) button that directs users to a website or landing page. 

With QR Codes, you never have to settle for something that doesn’t align with your marketing strategies, as there’s a solution for virtually any need. 

Customizable for any design

No need to worry that QR Codes will detract from your brand designs—they’re entirely customizable! You can customize your QR Code by using colors that align with your brand, unique edges, custom frames with an editable CTA, and your business logo or any unique image that aligns with your campaign. 

What’s more, QR Code image files are downloadable as JPG, EPS, SVG, and PNG file formats, so if you’d like to customize them further with a photo editing tool, you have the complete flexibility to do so. Just ensure you maintain the core structure of your QR Code if you decide to do so for reliable scanning. 

An overview of QR Code Generator PRO's customization options
An overview of QR Code Generator PRO’s customization options

Easy to edit and update

There are two types of QR Codes, namely Static and Dynamic. Static QR Codes are suitable for one-time use because you can’t edit them. However, Dynamic QR Codes are flexible, so you can change or update their content anytime. 

With QR Code Generator’s Dynamic QR Codes, you can update your QR Code landing pages and even change your QR Code solution. And the good news? You don’t have to reprint the QR Codes on new marketing materials. This is a huge saver for marketers since marketing budgets have been dwindling since the pandemic.

Trackable and integrable with Google Analytics

Dynamic QR Codes are growing in popularity because they are trackable. When using QR Code Generator PRO, you can view real-time QR Code scan metrics, including location by city and country, unique vs. total scans, operating device used, and time scanned. The built-in report feature empowers you with insights you can use to understand audience behavior and improve future marketing campaigns. Further, you can download your report as a CSV file to compare it with data from other performance-tracking tools. 

Alternatively, you can integrate your QR Code Generator PRO account with Google Analytics. This way, you get to not only see the number, location, and time of your scans but also get deeper insights into the overall customer journey—you see where visitors come from and how they behave, i.e., whether they interact with your page by either clicking links or making purchases. 

An example of QR Code campaign tracking with QR Code Generator PRO
An example of QR Code campaign tracking with QR Code Generator PRO

Seamless connection between print and digital

Contrary to common belief, print advertising isn’t dead. Print marketing tools like flyers, brochures, and business cards still contribute to the success of marketing campaigns because they create tactile connections and build credibility with audiences. 

Still, we must recognize that the world is quickly becoming digital. People today want to look up information and make purchases from their devices without the hassle of typing long URLs or browsing social media platforms and websites. 

How do you reconcile print and digital marketing? Through QR Codes. These innovative tools act as gateways between print and digital mediums, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both marketing strategies. Add a scannable QR Code to whichever offline marketing medium you use to offer your audience convenience. 

An example of a QR Code on a poster ad
A QR Code makes it easier for your audience to access digital content from print ads

Real examples of QR Codes in marketing campaigns

How exactly are QR Codes used in marketing campaigns? To give you some direction, the following are some examples of QR Codes used in marketing from real brands:

(Note: These examples were found during our online research.)

Coca-Cola: Guiding consumers to interactive content

The global beverage giant needs no introduction. Still, the company invests tremendously in marketing, showing how vital this part of the business is. It has used QR Codes in numerous campaigns to enroll customers in competitions and allow them to share music with their loved ones. 

Recently, Coca-Cola took the marketing world by storm by using illustrative QR Codes to market its Coke Studio platform. The company partnered with creative technologist Troy Ni and global marketing network partner WPP Open X to unveil the QR Code marketing campaign, which is nothing short of groundbreaking. 

Coca-Cola used five illustrative QR Codes strategically positioned in movie theaters, theme parks, and stadiums to lead audiences across the U.S. to distinct moments in the “Be Who You Are (Real Magic)” video. This is one of the latest Coke Studio creations, featuring prominent artists Jon Batiste, Cat Burns, NewJeans, Camilo, and JID. This campaign elevated the company’s out-of-house engagement and set it apart from competitors in its industry. 

How to echo this idea: Incorporate Video QR Codes into your campaign to direct your audience to engaging and fun video content. 

Nike: Providing detailed product information

Nike, the athletics giant, is no stranger to QR Codes, having incorporated them in numerous campaigns. The company ran the scan-to-try campaign in its LA stores to enhance customers’ shopping experiences. Rather than chase down store employees when you needed to get product information, all you had to do was scan your desired shoe’s QR Code to get detailed information like product availability in the store, sizes, colors, and prices. Afterward, you’d be directed to a pickup area, where a store attendant would bring your chosen shoes. 

Nike has led numerous other notable QR Code campaigns, like the shop-the-look and customization campaigns—the former allowed shoppers to find Nike products conveniently in stores and online, while the latter elevated the brand’s commitment to personalization by allowing shoppers to create their unique pair of trainers through simple QR Code scans. In Seoul, Nike also blended QR Code technology with augmented reality to boost customer engagement. 

How to echo these ideas: Use an App QR Code to lead customers to your app or a Dynamic URL QR Code to lead them to your website. These codes can elevate shopping experiences. 

Starbucks: Promoting the loyalty program and app

Looking at Starbucks’ innovative marketing campaigns, it’s easy to see why the coffee chain had a market share of 40.99% in 2023. Starbucks doesn’t shy away from QR Code marketing, which is evident from the many campaigns it’s carried out over the years. 

The company’s loyalty program is one of its most notable ones. Customers could easily enroll in the program and receive incentives for their purchases by scanning the QR Codes in Starbucks locations. 

Another notable program is the Starbucks Odyssey. This is an extension of the Starbucks Rewards Program, which allows customers to receive incentives after participating in interactive games and challenges. They can then redeem them using the QR Codes on the Starbucks app. 

How to echo this idea: Embed a Coupon QR Code on print materials, product packaging, or your webpage to make it easy for clients to claim discounts. 

McDonald’s: Leading customers to nutritional information

If we’re being honest, we’ve all run to our phones to Google the number of calories in a meal. The process can be pretty tedious, especially if you have to calculate each ingredient’s calorie contribution independently. 

Well, McDonald’s made it easy for customers to determine their calorie intake by adding QR Codes on its food packaging. When this campaign ran, you only needed to scan the code on your meal with your mobile device to get the exact calorie count and sourcing information—every dieter’s dream. 

The company’s involvement with QR Codes didn’t end with this campaign. Over the years, the company has rolled out numerous QR Code campaigns. It regularly uses QR Codes on advertising mediums like billboards to give audiences access to immersive games and personalized deals to improve engagement. 

How to echo these ideas: Create a Dynamic URL QR Code to facilitate seamless information access and allow you to update content whenever necessary. 

Spotify: Directing users to a song, album, artist, or playlist

Spotify has over 350 million subscribers, making it the largest music streaming platform in the world. While we can’t attribute its success purely to QR Code marketing, it has definitely played a part. Sharing songs has never been as easy as it is today, thanks to QR Codes. 

Artists worldwide share their music with Spotify QR Codes across social media platforms, websites, offline mediums like billboards, and—for the ambitious ones—skylines. For example, Travis Scott earned over 80,000 impressions after sharing his Spotify pre-save link using a drone QR Code during his debut of “Escape Plan.” With thousands of artists coming up with creative ways to share their Spotify QR Codes, it’s easy to see why the company remains the streaming king. 

How to echo this idea: Create a QR Code call to action that directs audiences to your Spotify playlists. 

L’Oreal: Helping customers with information and tutorials

The cosmetics industry is one of the most competitive globally. To maintain its competitiveness, L’Oreal has implemented numerous marketing campaigns over the years, one of the most popular being QR Code marketing. 

The cosmetics powerhouse added QR Codes to its products in 2021 to bridge the gap between the physical and digital with a single scan. When scanned, the QR Codes led customers to a landing page with product ingredients, step-by-step how-to tutorials, and visuals of the expected results to empower customers to make well-informed decisions. 

Buyers could also access information on products’ manufacturing locations, environmental impacts, and customer reviews. This level of transparency was a breath of fresh air for its target audience and built customers’ trust in the brand. 

How to echo this idea: Use a Dynamic URL QR Code to give customers seamless access to all relevant product information. 

Get started with QR Codes in your marketing campaigns today

Just when we think we’ve seen all that QR Codes have to offer, brands continuously prove that there are no bounds to what these seemingly simple squares can achieve. As you’ve seen, they’ve become a permanent fixture in large companies’ marketing campaigns because they deliver results. You, too, can elevate your marketing campaigns by incorporating QR Codes into them. 

QR Code Generator empowers you to create custom QR Codes for a wide range of purposes. Whether you want a Coupon QR Code or a Video QR Code or anything in between, rest assured you’ll find exactly what you need. 

Sign up to QR Code Generator PRO today to generate custom QR Codes that enhance your marketing strategy and provide actionable customer engagement insights. 

Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is Bitly’s Vice President of Product. With a background in software engineering, he has a decade of combined experience in product development and the QR Code space. Tobias leads a team that developed one of the most successful and popular QR Code generators available. His entrepreneurial and growth mindset helps build products that continuously disrupt the market. You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn.

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