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20 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes to Advertise

Updated on February 20, 2014
Creative Uses For QR Codes
Creative Uses For QR Codes

Quick Response, or QR Codes are an innovative, interactive way to advertise. No matter how large or small your business is, or whether you just want to have a bit of fun with them, a QR Code can be very effective.

The best part is that generating a QR Code online is free.

There are plenty of online generator tools available to help you create a basic, typically mono-colored QR Code and then it can be saved as a JPEG file and added to any marketing material, website, or location just as a normal image would be.

You can utilise the services of graphic designers and programmers who can cleverly manipulate and create a QR Code that not only is color coded to match your business theme but also integrate additional images or words into it. This takes a skill as the QR code itself is quite delicate.

If you want to know more take a look at this guide to QR codes and how they work.

If you feel there's a place for QR codes in your marketing toolbox, or want to introduce them into your life, just for fun, here are 20 creative suggestions to get you started.

Luggage Tag QR Codes

1. Business cards. This may not be the most creative, however it is a simple and great place to start. The reason it works so well on a business card is because when you are out networking, at a conference, a business lunch, a market selling your products, or anywhere where you have an opportunity to advertise yourself, typically you hand out a business card. Placing a QR Code on your card means that you do not have to overload your card with information but more importantly, holders can scan it and be linked directly to your Facebook page, website URL, a promotional competition, a promo code for future purchase, a video guide or even your twitter page.

It is quick and it allows instant connection.

2. Scavenger hunts. If you are looking for a fun and novel twist on a scavenger hunt, use QR Codes. It can be a great interactive way to get participants to experience things and see places that they might not otherwise go.

3. Labels. Picture this. Somewhere, in a gorgeous boutique restaurant, a couple are sitting together over lunch lovely bottle of wine. They notice the QR code on the bottle and scan it with their smartphone. It transports them. All of a sudden they are are watching a video. They are learning about the exact wine they are drinking, the vineyard itself, how the grapes matured, how to store it to prevent spoilage, food suggestions and links to where they can buy a case for delivery....

Now that is powerful!

4. Promotions, discounts and giveaways. You could create coupon codes or discounts that can be printed onto flyers or brochures that you place in goodie bags, or hand out at markets or events. The unique codes used would assist you tracking where they came from too.

5. Stickers. Place a sticker on almost anything. A billboard, a car, a trolley, books or boxes.

Creative Ways To Use QR Codes
Creative Ways To Use QR Codes

6. Shop displays. Chances are your shopfront business is not open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using this smart technology however, you can place a code in your window display, giving passers by the chance to scan, browse and potentially buy the gorgeous outfit on display. It is quick and you have turned a potentially lost sale into a potential return buyer! So simple.

7. T-shirts. Put a code on a t-shirt, or a work uniform or outfit worn at a market or conference. For more engagement put different messages on different colored shirts.

8. Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows. Direct people to your facebook page, or your twitter profile. It won't automatically like or follow, they will have to accept it, however the hard part of typing in a web address is done for them.

9. Add to your retail space. Imagine a QR code next to a piece of art at a gallery or museum. It could show a video from the artist, explaining the mediums used, the story behind the work and the history of it. Imagine scanning a code on a piece of gardening equipment at your local D.I.Y. store. It could lead you to a how-to video. Scan a product label at a supermarket to see how the product was manufactured or get some recipe ideas. Think outside the square and see how you could expand your business.

10. Email subscribers. Direct people to sign up to your blog, your newsletter or product catalogue.

11. Get them to call or SMS you. QR codes can make phone calls! Yes, they can. Display a preset message to hear a special promotional offer.

12. Wrapping paper. Do you wrap your products before mailing them? Have you ever thought of wrapping them in paper covered with QR Codes? Each code could be a different message. Some might be a promotional code for their next purchase, some a video from you thanking them for their purchase, a fun fact about your product or anything you want it to be.

13. Jokes, interactive fun. Using these codes for fun is also so very easy. Maybe they can be incorporated into a trivia night, whereby scanning a code provides the answer to a question or a silly joke.

14 Body Lotion Product. As an example, you could be take to a detailed list of a product's Ingredients, the history of the product, other product suggestions, how best to use the product.

15 Scan a Clothing Item Label and see manufacturer details, how best to wash for long lasting wear, other products in the range, other colour options or a promotion code for next purchase.

16. Travel and Tourism: Use a QR code to give tourists tips on where to travel, best restaurant or night life spots and information about the area they are in.

17. Grave plots. Surprisingly you can have a QR code added to a grave stone which will hold an image or information about the deceased. It definitely will help them live a lifetime.

18. Temporary tattoos. Could be a new take on a halloween tattoo. Or a way to promote yourself for a bit of fun.

19. Food. It is not surprising that clever chefs have taken the QR Code and transposed it onto food. The cupcake, for example is seen very commonly now with a code on it. If used for a birthday or celebration it could display, when scanned, a special message, a photo or anything you want it to show.

20. For Sale Signs. If you are selling your home, or business, or anything for that matter, place a code on the advertising board to provide interested parties with further details. Additional images, specifics and contact information. Ingenious!

As you can see, there are plenty of innovative ways to integrate these into your business to connect and engage with existing and potential customers.

The best part is that they never expire. There is no license needed to generate or use them, there are no limits on commercial use, they are ad-free and given that there are free generators online you can create as many as you want as often as you want.

QR codes can provide additional information, including photos, reviews, directions and event dates and times. There's a certain amount of fun and surprise.

Have you used QR codes in your marketing? If so, how are you using them, and what results have you seen? Want to know more?

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©


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    • JDIZM profile image

      JDIZM 5 years ago

      Oh another great QR code hub you have written!

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      very interesting uses for the QR code.


    • profile image

      Alexandra 5 years ago

      QR code is a great invention people made. I'm making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I'm amazed at QR code coupons app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

    • NetBlots profile image

      NetBlots 5 years ago from Melbourne

      Very cool, never thought of a good half of those =)