Reach "By Design" QR Code

Toothbrush manufacturer, Reach, recently launched an advertisement in Details magazine to promote their new line of "By Design" toothbrushes. The ad features a QR code.

For the most part, from a strategic and creative standpoint, the ad works, as the company marries the main premise of the ad (i.e., promoting a new line of toothbrushes) with the call-to-action (i.e., get a $1 off coupon), and ties the two together through the QR code. While one could argue why not offer a printed tear-off coupon, another could argue why not offer a mobile coupon, so it's one less piece of paper someone has to carry with them or remember to bring to the store when ready to purchase.

Reach does a decent enough job explaining the code to readers and how to scan or text to get the $1 off coupon, but they do not tell readers where to find/download a reader app. It's nice that they include instructions on how to get help with the scan or access to the coupon, if needed. Unlike yesterday's example, this QR code works aesthetically on the page, because the black and white of the code matches with the black and white used throughout the rest of the ad. But what if the code was set in colors to match the toothbrushes, the reds and blues, wouldn't that be striking and accent the main artwork nicely. Why aren't companies thinking about this when generating a code? Are they not aware that QR codes can be set in color? Is the creative team doing their homework? Also, this was a right-hand page ad, so why have the code pushed up against the spine of the magazine. Could there have been another layout where all of the components work just as well, or better?

Another item to note relates to the URL that is given next to the QR code (BrushWithStyle.com/Art). I tried to access this site, but nothing comes up. Anyone else experience the same thing? If a code is to resolve to an object that object needs to be in place prior to launch. If a URL is to link to a page then the page needs to be in place prior to launch. And, speaking of websites, why is there no mention on Reach's website of the new "By Design" toothbrushes? Am I missing something here too? Isn't marketing and branding all about integration, where one channel integrates with another that integrates with another, and so on. Why the disconnect? Why talk about a new product in an ad, but not support it on your website? Yes, I see a coupon offer on the Reach website, but again no mention of the new product line.


  1. It's a pretty ad. And, the QR Tag fits in with the clean, simple lines.

    Only problem I have is that the Tag doesn't resolve; I believe it's due to it's size (too small and I don't have a phone that is less than 1 year old). Maybe the original is the correct minimum dimension, but, unless you have a newer phone/camera, there could be a problem?

    You're correct, the .com address doesn't lead anywhere.

    Integrated campaigns (print, web, mobile) or just print/mobile require a level of Traffic coordination that many Agencies haven't figured out how to handle. In some instances "mobile" hasn't even been set up or is being passed between departments. A year from now it will be different, 'til then, we'll see these kind of disconnects.

  2. Follow Up:

    Some supporting docs re: Agencies not yet sure how to handle mobile from AdAge:


    Title: Agencies Divided on Where to House New Mobile Units

  3. Follow up #2

    The discussion of "who owns mobile" at Agencies is really just beginning.

    And, this is from leading Agencies, who are just starting to grapple with the question: