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7-Eleven’s Coca-Cola promotion taps mobile for a unified experience

Coca-Cola and 7-Eleven have teamed up for the convenience store chain’s largest-ever in-store promotion that links mobile with World Cup fever to drive sales for exclusive merchandise and brand engagements.

In the United States, the in-store promotion includes exclusive 16-ounce soda cans featuring a QR code that shoppers can scan to access exclusive content such as mobile wallpapers for smartphones, a 2014 FIFA World Cup mobile game and a link to the 7-Eleven mobile application. Also available on 7-Eleven shelves in the United States during July are size-5 commemorative soccer balls featuring the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Coca-Cola trademarks.

  • “The QR code brings an added-value experience to our guests,” said Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications at 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas, TX. “The customer scanning the QR code not only gets the exclusive 2014 FIFA World Cup wallpaper, but also access to a mobile FIFA World Cup Game on the Coca-Cola Web site, and instructions on how to download the 7-Eleven app for lots of fun and exciting offers.”

Local deployments
The in-store promotion is available across 35,000 stores in 12 countries. It is the first time so many 7-Eleven stores have participated in one event at the same time.

While the promotion is global, it has a local flavor in each country with unique products and promotions. The participating countries include Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Denmark and Sweden.

The use of QR codes on cans of Coca-Cola points to the enduring relevancy of 2D bar codes for driving mobile engagements even as newer technologies such as augmented reality and NFC tags gain steam.

It is interesting that the cans of Coca-Cola are exclusive to 7-Eleven, showing how QR codes on packaging can be used by brands and retailers who want to create a unique experience around an in-store promotion.

QR codes may not be as prevalent as they were a couple of years ago but they are still an effective way to reach a wide range of mobile users who are increasingly familiar with how to scan and interact with this kind of content.

Extending the reach
The 7-Eleven convenience store chain has teamed up with Coca-Cola before.

Earlier this year, the two brands put an extensive push behind getting mobile coupons into consumers’ hands to drive trial for the new Diet Coke Cherry flavored Slurpee (see story).

However, the Diet Coke Cherry Slurpee was removed from stores a month later due to freezing consistency issues at some stores.

By including a tie-in with the FIFA World Cup for the current promotion, the two brands are expecting to drive excitement with fans.

Additionally, by including a mobile element, the brands hope to extend the reach and longevity of the campaign by encouraging mobile users to engage with the digital content available from a mobile campaign site.

The in-store promotion is just one element of Coca-Cola’s program in support of the FIFA World Cup. The integrated retail and digital strategy also includes a series of 18 miniature collectible bottles developed for the games that can be activated via an augmented reality browser or Facebook application (see story).

“The ability to include a browser and a personalization experience, provide by the QR code and the wallpaper, enables these brands to tap into the Word Cup frenzy in a manner that is convenient, memorable and lasting,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of mobile at [x+1], New York.

“Camera’s continue to be one of the most popular features of mobile phones, and QR codes are a nearly ubiquitous feature for a phone that has a camera and a browser, which covers the vast majority of phones,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York