Calvin Klein Jeans and QR Codes

Tony Dillistone · July 14, 2010 · Short URL:

Replaces Billboard copy in NYC and LA


By   Lauren Indvik - Mashable

This past weekend, Calvin Klein Jeans replaced three of its billboards — two in downtown New York and one on Sunset Boulevard in LA — not with another racy montage of scantily clad models, but with a bright red QR code under the words “Get It Uncensored.”

Passersby can use their smartphones to snap a picture, which will pull up an exclusive, 40-second commercial featuring models Lara Stone, “A.J.,” Sid Ellisdon, Grayson Vaughan and Eric Anderson. After the spot plays, viewers can then share the code with their Facebook (Facebook) and Twitter (Twitter) networks. The billboard marks the official premiere of Calvin Klein Jeans’s Fall 2010 advertising campaign. Previous campaigns have debuted on more traditional venues, the company explained, such as broadcast and dedicated online sites.

QR codes are increasingly appearing in advertisements as a way to increase engagement with consumers. Although already common in Japan (where they were originally invented), they do not appear in many advertisements — much less take up an entire billboard. Most U.S. citizens still do not own smartphones, and even those that do don’t necessarily know what a QR code is or have the necessary scanning software to read it.

The billboards are clearly a test run for Calvin Klein Jeans, given that they will be up for only a little more than a week. If the videos get enough views, however, we can expect similar billboards in the future — both from Calvin Klein Jeans and from other brands. It’s often difficult to measure engagement with billboards, and QR codes help advertisers better measure their impact.

What do you think of the billboard? Have you ever scanned a QR code in an advertisement?

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