Tissot’s QR-code FAIL

From ChinWonder’s Blog:

Mobile Marketer featured a story about Tissot sponsoring Danica Patrick to drive a race car with a QR code on the hood at a NASCAR event tomorrow. This race car is the first image: Danica's QR Codeever to feature a mobile bar code. With the car going round and round at high speed, I imagine live audiences will have a hard time getting their devices to read the code. Perhaps I will have better luck scanning it on the TV!?

Check back here tomorrow, and we shall see if this Tissot QR strategy will provide an enticing consumer experience, or just be a disappointing gimmick.

…it is now tomorrow.

Danica Patrick was ousted by a car crash with 10 laps left!

Even more disappointing was Tissot’s QR-on-the-car strategy. From pre-race to the point Ms. Patrick was forced to leave the track, I saw no opportunity to scan that code.

One of the problems is that Ms. Patrick was too far back, the camera never stayed with her long enough. The pit stop would have been a good time to show the QR, but the camera was focused on the pit crew instead. The other problem is that the QR was not discoverable. It was too small, and there was no mentioning of it throughout the broadcast. If I were an unsuspecting viewer, I wouldn’t know Ms. Patrick’s car was special at all.

The QR takes people to a mobile page with the schedule of events, the lineup for the race, information on Danica Patrick and her team, pictures of Tissot’s Danica Patrick collection, etc. People in the live audience without a program and viewers who are not near a computer should find the page useful, especially before the race. But since there appeared to be no chance to scan the QR code from the TV, and race attendees were not likely able to scan it directly from the fast-moving race car, could Tissot have promoted this marketing effort using other media?

Tissot’s website gave no indication of their NASCAR QR campaign. I then went down to the bookstore and flipped through magazines from Road & Track to Motor Sport to Sports Illustrated to the Watch Journal. I could not find a single Tissot advertisement, let alone a Tissot advertisement with Danica Patrick or the race car with QR.

At the very least, I would make the QR much bigger, so even if it can’t be scanned, viewers could still see that it is a QR code. Had I been given a generous budget to work with, I would also reach out to NASCAR enthusiasts and Danica Patrick fans by promoting on SPEED TV, ESPN, Danica Patrick’s official website and fan sites, JR Motorsports/Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s website, and various motorsport magazines.

Given its seemingly poor exposure, it is unclear to me who Tissot was trying to reach through the QR-on-the-car. But I can’t imagine it reached very many people.


What could have saved this campaign?
As with most failed efforts better integration with other promotional (ahem) vehicles could have given this campaign some life. While the QR code remains on the car Tissot should be looking at placing it on in-venue signage as well as in the programs handed out to attendees (hopefully with instructions on what to do). Leveraging the Jumbotron or other large in-venue display, Tissot might have prompted viewers to send an SMS with a keyword, like “Tissot”. The resulting SMS reply could be the same url that is embodied by the QR code, no QR reader needed. Just click the link.


About Kelly McIvor

Kelly McIvor is an 18 year veteran of mobile and is currently Principal at Atomic Mobile and professor (adjunct) at the University of Washington Graduate School of Communications where he teaches a popular courses on Mobile Media and Marketing in the Masters of Communications in Digital Media (MCDM) program. Kelly holds a BA in Business from the University of Washington.
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2 Responses to Tissot’s QR-code FAIL

  1. Pingback: 7 things to consider before launching a QR Code campaign « DKDNewMedia

  2. Pingback: Marketing Fail: QR Codes vs Domains, v2. It’s worse than billboards. (pics) | Accidental Domainer

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