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Naturtint doubles up on QR codes to boost mobile engagement

Hair color brand Naturtint decided that one QR code was not enough for its print ad in the September 2013 issue of Women?s Health Magazine.

The ad includes one QR code that leads to the company?s Facebook page and another mobile bar code that leads to a Naturtint retailer locator. Naturtint produces a plant-based permanent hair color product that is meant to be healthier option to standard hair colors.

?Naturtint would use QR codes in their print ads to further connect with people that are reading their print ad and want to learn more,? said Bobby Marhamat, CEO of Hipscan, Menlo Park, CA. ?The strategy is to take an offline experience and turn it into an experience that will engage an end-user.

?When you are taken from a static ad to a mobile experience that allows you to watch a video on the features of a product/service, or be presented with additional information on a mobile-optimized site, you become more engaged with that brand influencing you to make a purchase or at least become loyal to the brand,? he said.

?Take that same experience and couple it with an exclusive promotion on that mobile page and you will see your conversion rates skyrocket. All in all, QR codes serve as an immediate call to action at the moment of consumer engagement.?

Mr. Marhamat is not affiliated with Naturtint. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Naturtint did not respond to press inquiries.

Not one, but two
What is unique about the use of QR codes in this particular print ad is that there are two codes side by side.

Each code has clear copy underneath that directs readers to different sites. One reads, ?Scan for more information,? and the other reads, ?Like us on Facebook.?

The first QR code leads to a mobile landing page that thanks the reader for his or her interest in Naturtint and then directs the reader to a dealer locator page. Readers can then search for a retailer that sells Naturtint by entering a ZIP code or store name.

The second QR code leads to Naturtint?s Facebook page, which opens as a mobile-optimized site. The reader is prompted to connect with Naturtint and "Like" the page.

The codes are also different colors, which makes them stand apart.

One complication with having two QR codes side-by-side is that a reader has to be careful to fit one specific code in the QR reader screen.

According to Mr. Marhamat, however, providing two separate QR codes is a great idea when you want to give consumers access to different pieces of information.

Mobile bar codes
Naturtint seems to be on the right path by adding QR codes to its print ads.

According to a report from Scanbuy, there were around 105 million commercial QR codes and UPC mobile bar codes scanned in the second quarter of this year.

Consumers are becoming more and more familiar with mobile bar codes, and they are looking for them to add an extra level of engagement or excitement with an ad.

Naturtint is definitely in good company when it comes to using QR codes in print ads.

For example, L?Oréal Paris brought its print ads in Allure Magazine?s August 2013 issue to life via QR codes (see story).

Similarly, Rosetta Stone included a QR code in its ad in Travel+Leisure?s August issue (see story).

?QR codes enhance the print ad by allowing the end-user to take their curiosity to the next level,? Mr. Marhamat said.

?You are quickly engaged by a print ad, but are curious to know all of the features that a product/service has,? he said.

?By using the QR code as an extension to that offline experience and providing a real-time online experience, your end-user will learn more about your brand and help them to build a relationship with your brand.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York