A capacity crowd packed Central Park's Great Lawn to watch musical performances by Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Kings of Leon at the recent Global Citizen Festival.
The Global Poverty Project, an advocacy group that works to end extreme poverty by 2030, produced the event.
One thing that caught my attention about the marketing for this event is that the organizer employed QR codes in an out-of-home (OOH) environment.
The execution format was posters on retail store windows. See the photo from a Cotton On store in Los Angeles (the event was presented in partnership with the Cotton On Foundation).
QR code penetration is still relatively low in the U.S. Penetration stats vary depending on the source. A report released earlier this year by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research entitled "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms" indicated QR code penetration for mobile users as 21 percent.
It is important to note that this data point simply means 21 percent of mobile users scanned a QR code at some point, not that they do it regularly. Take a look at these more granular data points on usage level. According to this same study, just 2 percent did it at least once a day, with the remaining 19 percent doing so less frequently.
QR codes are certainly not a play on scale as SMS/text messaging is, but they do offer benefits that SMS doesn't, such as a richer set of call-to-actions.
There are plenty of marketers who report excellent results with QR codes, so understand your audience's mobile media habits and, if you see that your audience embraces this activity, then consider integrating QR codes into your event promotion.
Cristopher Levy runs Encore Media Partners, an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency, which specializes in “live” exhibitions and events. Connect with him on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org.