Covering the basics of QR codes

A handful of quick-service restaurants have incorporated QR codes into their mobile marketing strategies.

For example, Taco Bell's recent Taco 12 Pack promotion included a QR code that featured ESPN college football analysis, game highlights and more. Dairy Queen added one to its Miracle Treat Day campaign, allowing customers to donate to the Children's Miracle Network instantly through the platform.

Burger King has used QR codes for promotions, including its XBox 360 event. McDonald's uses them on packaging to display nutritional information.

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Jack in the Box added the code as a coupon in its All American Jack Combo, directing guests to a microsite with details on a promotion. Wendy's, Subway and Dunkin' Donuts have used them, as well.

Still, QR codes are far from ubiquitous considering the QSR segment tends to heavily target the younger, technology-savvy demographics.

Tim Grace, product director at mobile/email and social media marketing firm Signal, said they remain uncommon because many people, even smartphone users, still don't fully understand what they are or how to use them. 

"You don't want to have a QR code just to have one and that happens quite a bit. But you compromise its usefulness if you're using one to be trendy as opposed to using one because it's effective," he added.

Nick Sears, creative director and designer with advertising technology company rVue, covers QR code basics and best practices in this video series:

Read more about mobile strategies.

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