Progressive Insurance, recently launched a two-page (front and back) advertisement in Real Simple magazine, where each page features a QR Code. The campaign is built on a "Where's Waldo?" theme, but instead of finding Waldo the idea/challenge is to find Flo, the company's spokeswoman.
When the first QR Code is scanned, the reader of the ad is brought to a very simple page which reads, "Find Flo. Find me as fast as you can. Lower your time by finding the bonus items." At the bottom of the screen is a "Play Game" button which, when touched, the reader can start to play the game and try to locate Flo in the same image that appears in the print ad. So, which is it? Is the reader suppose to play on the printed page or the digital page? Does it matter?
On the top of the second page (see image below), the QR Code is displayed with this caption, "Find Flo and Pickles! Now Flo and her buddy are hiding. And don't forget, in the time it takes to find them, you could save hundreds on car insurance at progressive.com." Scanning the second code brings the reader of the ad to the same landing page as the first code, and when the "Play Game" button is touched the same "Find Flo" image is used.
My take on this campaign: the target audience is not very well defined, the call-to-action is not very well articulated, the use of the QR Code means very little, or I should say, delivers very little and, when all is said and done, the reader of the ad walks away with nothing. Instead of offering someone the chance to win a silly search game, what about the chance to win some money off of their first premium bill, or to win a free accessory for their car, etc. Something, anything, of substance and value. I know car insurance advertising has gone through a number of thematic changes as of late, all to attract younger drivers, but is this the way (i.e., to find Flo and play games)? While it might make sense from Progressive's perspective, I am somewhat skeptical, especially because I don't know who this ad is really targeted towards given the demographics of Real Simple magazine. Could this have been a media placement gone wrong?
2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL