New To Macy's Spring Lineup: Custom QR Codes

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Macy's traditional swimsuit, sundress and sandals lines will be complemented this spring with a new entry: customized QR codes (otherwise known as mobile 2D barcodes).

Starting this week, the retailer is unveiling its "Macy's Backstage Pass" campaign, which will deliver consumer-oriented video content (including fashion advice, tips, trends and inspirations) via the mobile phone barcodes.

"We're always looking to bring the magic of Macy's closer to our customers," company representative Orlando Veras tells Marketing Daily, noting that the retailer has sponsored fashion shows and other promotions in various stores. "This is another way we can bring all that information into every store ... . We can't bring fashion designers into every location, but we can bring it to our customers via mobile."

The campaign is a bit of an extension of the retailer's holiday effort, through which consumers took a photo of a 2D barcode and texted it to Macy's for access to a holiday-themed video. This effort, however, is much more extensive, and will be communicated across multiple touchpoints, including television and print advertising, in-store signage and associate training, Veras says.

Via the campaign, customers will use the QR technology to access 30-second films showcasing Macy's celebrity designer partners. Customers will then have the ability to access more content that will take them even further "backstage" with each designer or brand. (Among the designers and brands featured are Bobbi Brown, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.)

Although widely used in other markets (like Japan) since the 1990s, QR codes are only just emerging as a marketing tool in the U.S. Accordingly, Macy's has created a video to help people familiarize themselves with the technology (which requires an app on their smartphone). A video, which is accessible either by texting the word "learn" to MACYS or through a dedicated microsite, explains how to download the special QR scanner and access the content. That video will be shortened into a 30-second television commercial to push usage, Veras says. Customers can also simply text "reader" to MACYS to receive a link to a site to download the correct QR reader for their smartphones.

"We're just trying to take the next step," Veras says. "We're aware this is an emerging technology [in the United States]."

For consumers who do not want to download yet another app (or for those who don't own smartphones), Macy's will also provide the videos via multimedia messaging by providing text-able codes next to the scannable barcodes. The videos will also be viewable through the company's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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2 comments about "New To Macy's Spring Lineup: Custom QR Codes ".
  1. Katie Despres , February 25, 2011 at 4:56 p.m.

    It’s very encouraging to see retailers that are jumping on the mobile train. Hopefully this is just the first step for Macy’s mobile strategy; as a long-time customer, I’m looking forward to seeing how else the company embraces mobile!

  2. Carrie Megal from KW Advertising , March 1, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.

    Good for Macy's! So far, it seems that only publishers have really made the attempt to embrace QR technology and their ability to easily direct consumers to extended content. I would love to be able to hit a clothing store, scan a QR code on a hang tag and view a fashion show of the clothes in the line and how I can accessorize them with other in-store items. The opportunities at retail are endless.