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Purina bolsters charity donations via QR codes

Pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina is using on-package QR codes to drive donations to its charity that supports pet shelters.

The mobile bar codes are being placed on packages of Purina One cat food. For each QR code scanned, Purina will donate $1 to provide pet food to pet shelters across the country.

?We feel that using QR codes enables us to engage with our core consumers and gives them a great way to connect with the brand on a deeper level,? said Nida Bockert, senior brand manager at Purina One brand cat food, St. Louis.

Purina claims to be one of the world?s largest pet food suppliers.

Snap to give
Purina began manufacturing packages with the QR codes in November and will continue to make them through December.

The company will donate up to $30,000 in mobile bar code scans from consumers.

The mobile bar codes are placed on three-and-a-half and seven pound bags of Purina One dry cat food in two flavors. They are being used on the salmon and tuna and chicken and rice flavors.

All the money raised will benefit Purina One?s network of 15 pet shelters across the country by providing food to them.

According to the company, the Purina One Shelter Pet Program has generated two million pounds of food have been donated to 200,000 pets in the United States since beginning in 2008.

?The goal of the campaign is to engage our consumers and get them involved to help cat shelters so more cats can be adopted and given a home,? Ms. Bockert said.

By using on-package mobile bar codes, Purina is able to leverage its existing merchandise to give consumers both an additional piece of content and a way to connect deeper with the company via a charity donation.

Cat?s meow
In conjunction with the QR codes, Purina has also rolled out a social media initiative for the campaign.

Users who visit Purina?s Facebook page can take a four-question quiz about pet shelters and adoption. 

For each completed quiz, Purina will donate one bowl of food to pet shelters.

The goal for the Facebook program is to donate 10,000 bowls of pet food per month.

This is not Purina?s first mobile endeavor.

Most recently, the company used a mobile app to let pet owners track their walks with their pet (see story).

?We know that approximately 14 million mobile users scan QR codes, and so many  pet owners are using mobile devices that this is another way for them to interact with the brand,? Ms. Bockert said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York