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Starbucks QR Code promotion

Starbucks QR Code promotion

Standing in line for my afternoon caffeine fix I noticed a couple of ladies with their phones out, laughing and trying to take a picture of something on the promotional Frappaccino banner. After they walked away, I noticed that on the banner was a QR Code, and this was evidently what the two women were trying to capture.

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Click on the image for a larger version.

I thought a couple of things were interesting about this particular promotion:

  • There was no instructions near the code. Either A). Starbucks assumes that people know what the codes are and trust them to know how to interact with them, or B). that people will ask one of the baristas what the mark means if they’re curious.
  • This code was probably two inches square, and as such should have been an easy scan for even the most basic smart phone QR code scanner, but at least one of these two women were having problems. Either because they were laughing and couldn’t hold the phone still enough, or because the banner was moving slightly because of the movement of the air in the room, making focusing the scanner difficult. Or, the caffeine from their Venti Caramel Mocha Frappaccino with extra drizzle had hit their system and they had the shakes. I wouldn’t rule it out.

QR Code email confirmation screen iPhone

Scanning the code brings up a page that prompts you for your email address, under the teaser of “What will you find?” suggesting, to me at least, that there may be some sort of scavenger hunt in the works. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing more of these types of promotions in the market. (Side note: see the wifi signal strength indicator? Zero bars in a coffee shop the size of my garage. Free wifi only works if you can hold the signal.)

I don’t know why I’m surprised. Starbucks led the way with a bar code in their iPhone app that links to your Starbucks account, and placed special scanners at most of their registers. I think I remember reading at one point that the code was actually a QR code, but the one on the “back” of my “card” is a modified bar code. This photo is of course blurred so you don’t steal my cappuccino money! Just kidding…

Starbucks qr code in app

  • Pingback: Everybody?s getting in on the QR Code game - QR Codes are cool

  • Jamee Staber

    It is the little inventions that make the biggest impacts.

  • Warren Appleby

    While I agree with a bit of what you said I think that a lot of people do not know how to use qr codes yet. Any how I am extremely excited about getting my free starbucks. Gotta say that I am loving the taste. Take it easy!

  • QR Code Guy

    Warren, is that what the promotion is? A scavenger hunt with a free coffee at the end? I haven’t looked into it any further to see what they’re doing with the Starbucks QR Code promotion.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://twitter.com/mikedashg Mike G

    Saw this same banner this morning getting my mocha on. Giving it had no instructions on it, and it was somewhat innocuous. I had to scan it and find out what it was. Sure enough, it was an QS code easter egg. This post is the only one on the net I can find about it. It makes me want to go back and see if there are any others hidden in the store. Which of course, is I’m sure the whole campaign, so it’s working.

    • QR Code Guy

      Thanks Mike.

      It didn’t even occur to me to look around for other codes to scan. That would be a fun little experiment, an in-store scene hunt. It would give us something to do while we waited for our beverages!

  • http://www.qrarts.com Patrick Donnelly

    I scanned this once, and I dont remember what it resolved to, but I remember not being too impressed.

    Starbucks could do a lot more with mobile engagement considering how much content and brand klout they have.

    Patrick, QrArts

  • Warren

    While I agree with a bit of what you said I think that a lot of people do not know how to use qr codes yet. Any how I am extremely excited about getting my free starbucks. Gotta say that I am loving the taste. Take it easy!

    • Anonymous

      Warren, is that what the promotion is? A scavenger hunt with a free coffee at the end? I haven?t looked into it any further to see what they?re doing with the Starbucks QR Code promotion.Thanks for your comment.

  • Anonymous

    Warren, is that what the promotion is? A scavenger hunt with a free coffee at the end? I haven?t looked into it any further to see what they?re doing with the Starbucks QR Code promotion.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Mike G

    Saw this same banner this morning getting my mocha on. Giving it had no instructions on it, and it was somewhat innocuous. I had to scan it and find out what it was. Sure enough, it was an QS code easter egg. This post is the only one on the net I can find about it. It makes me want to go back and see if there are any others hidden in the store. Which of course, is I?m sure the whole campaign, so it?s working.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Mike.

      It didn?t even occur to me to look around for other codes to scan. That would be a fun little experiment, an in-store scene hunt. It would give us something to do while we waited for our beverages!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mike.

    It didn?t even occur to me to look around for other codes to scan. That would be a fun little experiment, an in-store scene hunt. It would give us something to do while we waited for our beverages!

  • Patrick

    I scanned this once, and I dont remember what it resolved to, but I remember not being too impressed.

    Starbucks could do a lot more with mobile engagement considering how much content and brand klout they have.

    Patrick, QrArts

    • Anonymous

      I agree Patrick,

      Especially on those occasions when you’re standing in that longer-than-average line, an easy QR link to some kind of in-store promotion or mobile entertainment might be a nice way to pass the time. Perhaps every store has their own QR Code displayed, and every new one you scan goes into an account (or if they’re really ambitious, your Starbucks App) and you can get additional points or stars or whatever.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Patrick Donnely

    I scanned this once, and I don’t remember what it resolved to, but I remember not being too impressed.

    Starbucks could do a lot more with mobile engagement considering how much content and brand clout they have.

    Patrick, QrArts