Guinness QR Code

The Choice of Bloggers: In this series of blog posts bloggers share with you the latest trends in product identification: favourites, news, products, projects and success stories.

What I saw

Guinness and the publicity agency BBDO worked together to refresh the brand image of the popular Irish beer. They provided bars with beer glasses displaying a QR code silkscreened onto the pint. Of course these glasses could be used to taste any beer, but the only beer that activates the code is the Guinness because it’s the only one that provides a dark enough contrast so the code can be scanned.

What caught my attention

The idea is pretty original, not only in its realization, but also because the code is automatically associated with different social networks. When read by a smartphone, it sent an updated message, such as “I’m enjoying a nice pint of Guinness at the Irish Pub,” via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. The code also lets you access exclusive promotional content.

This campaign was awarded three times. However, it did not reach a large audience since the Guinness brewery did not distribute these glasses on a large scale. Nevertheless, there were thousands of impressions in social networks, which can be qualified as buzz.

What this means for the industry

This real time buzz from social networks could be reproduced with any type of drink, not only dark ones. Instead of silkscreen on glass, one could even use heat shrink labels (sleeves) on the containers.

These sleeves could differentiate the products sold in bars and restaurants from those sold in grocery or convenience stores for takeout. Automatic updates would attract friends of consumers to the place where the drink in question is being enjoyed.

Worst case scenario, this would create publicity for the brand and the bar (or the restaurant). Best case scenario, this would increase sales and customers at the bars and restaurants stocking these products in the very short term. The exclusive content offered to consumers could even include promotions that the manufacturer would have negotiated with his distributors.

If you like this idea, get in touch with us. We look forward to exploring it further with you.