May 25

Social Media Hit or Miss: Newspaper Makes QR Codes Fun Again



As a culture, we love the idea of “mini” – from puppies to babies to mini M&M’s ® to miniature golf — we are fascinated by the idea that regular-sized stuff…  can be made into smaller-sized stuff.

And with that, this week’s Hit comes from our neighbors to the north, Canada.  Together with ReThink Canada, the Metro Newspaper released a QR code in quite an adorable fashion – on a mini newspaper stand.  The QR code is meant to promote the newspaper’s mobile edition app and consumers could either pick up their daily paper copy, or simply scan the mini code with their smartphone for the online edition.  While there have been small ads before, who doesn’t enjoy a teeny newspaper stand to start their day?


  • Connect offline with online: the Metro took advantage of the fact that their readers would already be picking up their paper on the street – and that these readers would probably have a smartphone handy.  They took an inherently offline activity and seamlessly connected it with their mobile web presence.  Too often we get a bit too focused on what can be done digitally, within the parameters of Facebook or Twitter or a microsite – consumers clearly live offline, so why not connect with them there?
  • QR codes can still be used effectively: What the Metro did fabulously well is have a QR code that actually went somewhere.  Too often, brands use these codes to simply bring consumers to their generic site, or even a microsite where it’s not clear what they’re supposed to do.  If you’re going to utilize this technology, make sure that there are clear action steps for your consumer to take…  and make it interesting in the process.