2.16.2013

Which Mobile Bar Code Ad Is Best?

Recently, I spotted two print ads which feature a mobile bar code, one from Moen and one from Delta, both manufacturers of kitchen and bath faucets, and I thought it would be interesting to compare the ads side by side to see which one is compelling enough to move me further along the purchase decision path (assuming that is the goal of the advertisement).


Moen's ad is single page and features an open-source QR Code in the lower right-hand corner of the page (see image above). Delta's ad is a double-page spread and features a proprietary SnapTag in the top center portion of the spread (see image below). For our players at home, QR Codes are based on open source technology and can be read by any QR Code reader app. SnapTags are based on proprietary technology owned by SpyderLynk and can only be read by a SnapTag reader app. While the chances that a smartphone comes preloaded with a bar code reader app capable of reading a QR Code is fair to midland, there is almost no chance that a phone will come with the SnapTag reader app. Regardless, both ads do a commendable job informing the reader of the ad that a code reader app is necessary and where to locate one for download. 


When Moen's QR Code is scanned, I'm brought to a mobile website, which features a video about the product featured in the ad, as well as tabs to click on to learn more about the product, what others have to say and to view other kitchen products. There is also a link to the company's main mobile website, where additional product specifications and information is provided, in addition to a retail locator.

When Delta's SnapTag is scanned, I'm brought to a mobile landing page, which shows three product images of the product depicted in the ad, and buttons to "pin" the product to Pinterest. Other than that, nothing else is offered to the reader of the ad. Question for the marketing/creative/digital folks at Delta. If the advertisement is targeted to consumers who have never purchased this particular product (my assumption), why are you asking them to pin the product on Pinterest? Is a consumer to pin something just because it looks good or, because they are a raving fan of the product, use it everyday and love it and want to share this experience with others? Not to digress, but this is what I don't get with pinning or likes, etc. How can a company, or I should say, why would a company solicit pins and likes from consumers who have never bought, tried and/or used their products or services? This seems awfully shallow and somewhat meaningless. Is there a reason for this that I just don't get?

Back to the campaigns and analysis.

While the code formats used in these ads can be debated, as I said, I'm more concerned with and interested in how successful either of these ads are at getting me (or any consumer) closer to purchasing a faucet. To know that Delta's ad stops at requesting a pin, and that Moen's ad goes that much further to provide useful and relevant product/company information, I believe Moen's ad wins hands down. Delta's ad is an interruption. Moen's ad is anything but.

The one feature that I believe could benefit both ads is more of an incentive to purchase (i.e., a discount code, coupon, etc.).
 2D Bar Code Litmus Test: Moen - PASS, Delta - FAIL

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