And The Winner Is...

After reviewing dozens of advertising and promotion campaigns, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of the 3rd Annual Best Mobile Bar Code Campaign Award is Scandinavian Airlines. Congratulations! The grand prize of $250,000 and a Tiffany-made silver loving cup are being delivered as this is being written (that's a joke).

But, seriously, after reading through, scanning and experiencing many different campaigns, whether they were print, in-store, packaging, out-of-home, etc., the campaign from Scandinavian Airlines showed itself above all others and here's why.

First, a brief summary of the campaign. Early last year, Scandinavian Airlines launched a campaign called "Couple Up to Buckle Up," to promote its 2-for-1 travel packages. The company developed a multi-channel (e.g., print, email, banners, etc.) campaign where two QR Codes were displayed side by side. The copy accompanying the QR Codes instructed consumers to scan the left and right codes simultaneously with two different mobile phones, and to then bring the two phones together. When the scan resolve video played, the separate left and right mobile phone screens essentially made one split screen, which then enabled the two participating consumers to view the video properly and discover the special 2 for 1 promotional code (see video below). If played individually, the left or right scan resolve video content would be close to meaningless.

In researching the marketplace (yes, market research can be applied to the use of QR Codes), the company discovered that when couples book their travel plans they often do it while sitting side by side. So, instead of using one QR Code in the campaign, the company's marketing team decided to use two codes and have them dependent upon one another in order for the message/interactive experience/campaign to work and make sense. How brilliant. How innovative. How different.

To know that the company essentially sold out its 2-for-1 travel packages, as a result of this campaign, is quite impressive, and it speaks directly to the potential of print-to-mobile technology when its used properly and thoughtfully with the consumer in mind.

What I also liked about this campaign, more than the others that were reviewed, is that it created a buzz for the company. When the campaign was launched it quickly became a topic of conversation within the marketing community. Sure, not on a grand scale, but enough to know that people were talking about it and taking notice, and this is something that I believe many companies lose sight of when developing QR Code-based campaigns. There can be a public relations and social share component to the use of QR Codes, but this often alludes companies and the marketers when they develop a campaign. To know that your company might be the first in its industry, region, etc. to use a code might be news worthy. To know that your QR Code campaign might offer something that no other company does might be social share worthy. And, for what? The price of the campaign itself.

In general, it's easy to see the commitment and thought that went into this campaign and it truly is a winner to be studied by others for what and how to develop a proper, meaningful and consumer-driven mobile bar code campaign. Again, congratulations to Scandinavian Airlines.

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