Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, is teaming up with SPARQ.ME (formerly SPARQCode) to launch a new direct mail package on behalf of two of its partners, TNT and HGTV.
Valpak wanted to deliver greater value for these two companies above and beyond a simple print advertisement, and thought QR Codes would be a new and different way to 1) engage with consumers via their mobile device and 2) make the engagement that much more sticky in the hope that it boosts show ratings for these networks.
Through July and August, over 80 million U.S. households will receive a Valpak envelope with a SPARQ.ME generated QR Code, and I would venture to guess that this might be the largest potential audience in the U.S. to see a single QR Code-based campaign. Once the code is scanned, consumers will be brought to a mobile website that is tethered to social media, TV show alerts/reminders, mailing list opt-ins and other call-to-actions.
While it is too early to tell how successful this campaign may or may not be, there are a couple of items that I would like to briefly mention. First, this campaign illustrates how 2D can be used for more than just magazine and/or out-of-home advertising. There's plenty of ways to incorporate 2D into direct mail. Second, the term "sticky" used above is not mine, it actually comes from a brief I was given by SPARQ.ME. Never before have I used the term sticky or seen it used by others to describe a 2D-based campaign, but it is very apropos. With other types of digital and even traditional marketing, how often do we, as marketers, talk about making a site, page or content sticky, so that a consumer interaction and engagement can be that much longer, more meaningful and hopefully of greater value to the company, as well as to the consumer? The idea that 2D helps make a campaign sticky is great, however, as with everything else, that stickiness needs to be built on content and/or an experience worthy of keeping the consumer engaged. So, as it has been written plenty of times before on this blog, the 2D/mobile/interactive experience that is wrapped around a campaign or advertisement needs to be spot on from square one.
It will be interesting to see if and how Valpak will continue to make use of 2D technology. Stay tuned.