What brands need to know about QR codes in 2022

We explore how QR codes are being harnessed in retail, by FMCG brands and what the experts are predicting for this formerly humble technology in 2022

3 Aussie brands using QR codes in campaigns

Shopify: Content and commerce connection

Ecommerce company, Shopify, recently released its ‘Reimagine Retail’ out-of-home campaign aimed at celebrating Australian brands that have disrupted retail with fresh products and ecommerce strategies. Inbuilt QR code functionality was built into all assets, which users could scan to ‘meet’ Australian brands who have reimagined retail, then shop their stores.

Credit: Shopify

The work was created in partnership with creative content agency, Chello, and media agency, iProspect.

“We wanted a campaign which celebrates and showcases local, independent businesses, who are the backbone of Australia’s entrepreneurial economy,” said Shopify head of marketing for APAC, Robin Marchant.

IProspect chief strategy officer, Sam Cousins, said the campaign and QR code element was recognition that every media touchpoint is a commerce opportunity. Shopify customers featured in the visual assets of the campaign include Go-To Skin Care, frank green, MAAP and Who Gives a Crap.

Lifeline: Generating messages of support

Lifeline, meanwhile, used QR codes in an out-of-home (OOH) campaign last year which allowed people to auto-generate a supportive message to send to their mates. The advertising campaign was designed to remind people to check in with their friends and family over the Christmas period and make sure they were doing OK.

Credit: Lifeline

The series of black and white posters, which used images by photographer, Toby Burrows, featured QR codes painted on the faces. It was created by The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive.

“It’s a visually arresting, timely, ‘hacking’ of a piece of tech and language that is fresh to our vocabulary right now,” The Monkeys creative director, Connor Beaver, said.

Lifeline Australia executive director of marketing and fundraising, Lisa Cheng, said something as simple as a check-in text can make a huge difference in someone’s thoughts and feelings. “This campaign is all about building connections and reminding others that they are seen and heard,” she said at the time.  

Helga’s: Inspiring kindness

Another brand looking to inspire acts of community kindness is Helga’s. The FMCG brand’s latest integrated campaign aims to inspire more everyday acts of kindness and remind Australians that kindness is good for us and an essential part of a happy, healthy life.

Credit: Helga's

Running across TV, earned, social, digital and OOH, the ‘Kindness is Good for Us’ campaign, created by The Works, Magnum & Co and Initiative, sees the return of the brand’s ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ TVC and a first-of-its-kind index, developed by McCrindle, examining the state of kindness in Australia. In addition, Helga’s bread bags were redesigned to carry a ‘KindeR Codes’; QR codes that can be scanned for stories on kindness. The codes are also appearing in OOH, with statements like, “We’re making it our mission to spread kindness. Loaves and loaves of it”.

“Increasing kindness among the community will have a positive impact on helping Australians feel happier, healthier and more connected,” Helga’s head of retail marketing and category, Belinda Elworthy, said. “The Helga’s Kindness Index is something we’re looking to undertake annually to understand the state of kindness in Australia and how this can shift over time. We recognise this is just the first step in our journey and we are excited to bring more kindness initiatives to market that have a positive impact contributing to a kinder Australia.”

Helga’s said its website will become a hub of kindness, curating inspirational acts of kindness within the community. The brand also has social personalities taking over @helgas.bakehouse, taking on simple daily task over 21 consecutive days, or the time it takes to form a habit. 

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