10.06.2011

When a QR Code Offer is not an Offer

The other day, I walked past a local Sur La Table retail store and, in front of the store, there was a food vending truck (see image below; apologies for the poor quality), which was operated by All-Clad, the kitchen equipment company.


On the side of the truck, near the side door, was a QR Code, which had the following copy printed underneath it, "SCAN THE CODE or visit allcladsurlatable.com to get 20% off on All-Clad for the next 24 hours only!"


While I did not have time to scan the code on that particular day, I did scan the code today and found a number of interesting points to discuss, comment on and question, as it relates to the campaign.

First, it turns out that "24 hours only" means very little, as it has been well over 24 hours since I saw the truck, and yet a discount code was sent to me this afternoon (read more below). So, where is the urgency and exclusivity of the call-to-action and offer?

Second, when I scanned the code, I was brought to a mobile landing page, which read, "Thanks for visiting the All-Clad Chefs Tour (i.e., the food vending truck) at Sur La Table. Please tap the button on the screen to like All-Clad's Facebook page and to unlock my secret All-Clad discount." Why am I liking a company and its products if I have never used them before? Why do I have to like something in order to get something in return? At that point, it seems as though the company is merely trying to buy votes (likes). Once I tapped on the like button, I was brought to a second page that asked for an email address, so that the discount code could be sent to me.

Third, after entering an email address, I was sent a short email which read, " Thanks for visiting the All-Clad Chefs Tour and giving us your email address! We hope you've gotten a chance to use your special discount on All-Clad. Here is your coupon code: 1971. Please make sure to check out our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/allclad) for future discounts and exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the culinary world! Have fun! All-Clad" Great, I have a discount code, but where do I use it? I tried to use it on Sur La Table's website and the code was not valid. I tried to use it on All-Clad's website, but they do not offer direct purchase. So, where else am I suppose to use the code? Also, if the code is not valid, maybe because the 24 hours expired, why not tell me that or, better still, why bother to send the email that they did with a discount code? Why not send an email that reads, "Sorry you missed the 24 hour window, your purchase discount is 10%."

Although it is interesting to see a co-branded QR Code offer, there are too many disconnects with this campaign, and it leaves me with very little desire to learn more about the product, search any further as to why the discount code did not work and, most importantly, to purchase the product. 

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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