Lexus goes mobile with codes
Lexus recently ran a mobile advertising campaign utilising QR codes, mobile banners & a mobile destination site. Lexus’ agency TMS worked with Sensis to implement the various campaign components. TMS have previously done quite a lot in this space with Toyota, but this is the first time they have trialled QR codes.
Since Telstra installed code readers on a large number of handsets in Australia, there has been a lot of QR buzz about town, and a handful of advertisers are using them in print campaigns to link through to mobile content. In my opinion the implementation often leaves a bit to be desired, and shows a limited understanding of the mobile user and mobile content in general.
The Lexus campaign is better than many, but like all good things, there is always room for improvement! The code was printed in the bottom right of several 1/2 and 1/3 page print ads in the AFR as well as major metro press and regional markets. The small print beneath the code stated “Scan the code with your Telstra Code Reader for more details on L’EXHIBITION”. The reference to Telstra is understandable – the campaign was managed by Sensis. There is reference to ’..particular handsets with appropriate scanning software..’ in the small print’ but it could be made clearer that QR codes can be scanned by any number of free downloadable readers, thus making it possible for anyone (not just Telstra customers) to scan the code.
Scanning the code automatically launches the Lexus campaign ‘adsite’ which was built by Sensis. Sensis build & host template based mobile sites for many of their mobile media clients. The templates are based around simple layouts and functions such as info, click to call, downloads and forms.
The Lexus adsite repeats the information from the print ad and expands on this with links to more detailed product information and images of the various Lexus car models. This is a good use of the mobile channel to deliver more info than can be effectively sqeezed into a print ad. There is also a dealer finder which lets users specify a state to see a list of Lexus dealers and click to call them.
What I didn’t much like was the use of a TV commercial that can be downloaded from the adsite. I know it’s fun to have some moving content and the ad itself worked fine on the small screen. It’s just that in this case it didn’t offer the user anything new. The TV ad repeated the content & imagery from the print ad, which was also repeated on the mobile adsite.
Telstra customers paid nothing to download the ad, which is great. On the other hand there was nothing to alert me to that fact, I just happen to know! Customers of other carriers would have seen the ‘warning’ on possible data charges and if they’d gone ahead, would have incurred data costs of anything up to $5.00 depending on their data plan. Given the limited additional value offered by
the TV ad, I wonder if it was worth risking quite a few unhappy customers just to have it there.
Backing up the print implementation apparently are mobile banners distributed across the BigPond portal. I was unable to view these however, as I’m not in the target audience – too young apparently – damn
Overall this was a nice implementation that showcases some of the possibilities for integrating more traditional media with a mobile component.
Matt Joyce from The Media Store tells me there is more to come in the next few weeks, with an integrated Toyota campaign utilising QR codes as well. According to Matt, TMS are continuing to test mobile and mobile technologies and intend to apply all learnings to an increasing focus and budget toward Mobile. I look forward to seeing more from these guys and congratulate them on being early to market once again in the mobile space.
For an interesting insight into future possibilities for the automotive industry, check out this 2 part interview with Marc Mielau, Innovation Manager for Mobile Marketing at BMW. BMW Driving Mobile Innovation Part 1 and Part 2