The New York Acura Association, which is comprised of three top U.S. Acura car dealers (Paragon Acura, Rallye Acura and Acura of Westchester), recently teamed with with Level 5, a digital advertising agency that focuses on the automotive industry, to create a new advertisement, which features a QR barcode.
The advertisement began running in The New York Times and other local New York papers in mid-April and promotes a new joint purchase and upgrade program called "Advance." The QR barcode is displayed at the bottom of the page in the right hand corner and, under the barcode, there are instructions for readers of the ad to download a QR code reader to their mobile phone and then scan the code for special offers. Brian Benstock, VP and General Manager of Paragon Acura said, "It makes sense for Acura to be on the cutting edge of technology with our marketing and advertising. Our clients expect it." In developing this ad, the New York Acura Association intends to lead the industry in using this technology/medium to promote and sell automobiles.
It's befitting that an automobile company like Acura make use of a QR barcode, because the QR barcode was originally developed in 1994 by Japanese researchers to index and inventory car parts.
In addition to making use of the barcodes in the ad, two of the three dealers in the association have developed mobile phone-based promotions on their respective websites, where a viewer can text to a certain number using their mobile phone and qualifiy for special discounts.
Aside from the promotional use of QR barcodes, it might be interesting if a car manufacturer used a QR barcode in some other way. For instance, what if a car manufacturer inconspicuously placed a QR barcode on the dashboard of a car, and when the owner of the car scanned the code with their mobile phone they would be able to view and read the entire owner's manual for their car. No more having to fumble through the glove box for the hard copy version. Also, think of the cost savings a manufacturer can realize by going to digital manuals. Or what about placing a QR barcode on the side of a tire, so if and when a flat tire needs to be fixed and the driver needs instructions, all he/she needs to do is scan the code with their mobile phone and read the instructions as he/she changes the tire.