There’s no doubt, some brands are bigger than others; and others are simply just a lot cooler than the rest. But whatever the size of your brand, the temptation to align it with hot events or cool culture is strong. Everyone wants to look bigger by hanging out with the cool guys.
This summer in London, that theory will certainly be ever-present. The 2012 Olympic Games in the capital will be a magnet for brands and advertisers looking to associate themselves with what will be London’s biggest ever event.
In many ways, these Olympics will be the first-ever ‘Smartphone Games’. The iPhone launched in the summer of 2007, triggering a smartphone revolution. But the Beijing Games of 2008 were finished by the time the very first Android phone hit the market.
It will be very interesting, therefore, during these coming weeks to see how brands look to address the smartphone-enabled consumer audience, and how strongly the Olympic Games figure in that process.
From our point of view at ScanLife, we’re already seen how brands gravitate towards cool events and popular culture using QR codes. Last year, for example, saw the US Fast Food restaurant chain Taco Bell introduce QR Codes on food cartons and drinking cups that linked to videos and information on the MTV Awards. Taco Bell customers could view exclusive content on smartphones in the restaurants, and also register for other promotions and prizes.
But it’s not just in the US that the practice of brands linking to events is taking off. In Spain last month, world-famous, iconic brand, Coca-Cola, started to use QR codes on Coke cans to provide links to a range of information, entertainment and even action from the Euro 2012 football championship.
The Scanlife platform handles the code traffic in a more dynamic way so the code destination can be changed throughout the campaign. This meant that customers who scanned the code could be certain that it would take them to the latest content. For example, scanning one of the codes today still offers links to some entertaining options even though the Championships are completed – and in Spain, the appetite to see the trophy presentation or the four goals in the final is likely to last quite a while yet.
So what can we expect to see during the Olympic Games in London? We think you will see QR codes sitting right at the centre of the mobile engagement during the Games – linking to Olympic action, promotions, merchandise and information, and popping up in all sorts of places.
Watch out for the codes inside taxis, within Olympic venues, or if you are lucky enough to have them – in your ticket information. Code use at the Games will include links to the official London 2012 apps, as well as results, spectator information and of course action from the Games themselves.
London will likely be home to more smartphones than it usually is people during the Olympic Games; and watching how brands and organisations seek to engage with millions from around the world will be a compelling spectator sport for the mobile marketing industry. Our bet is that QR codes are going to get the Gold Medal in the Smartphone Games.
Dave Allen is VP sales at Scanlife