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Mall of America shoppers line up to enter QR code contest

Mall of America’s Black Friday activities this year included a QR code contest that saw 300 early-morning shoppers line up for a chance to snap a QR code and win a prize while 1,000 shoppers snapped QR codes over the weekend to enter another contest.

Contestants began lining up at 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving Day for a chance to snap one of the QR codes embedded in the Mall of America logo on the floor in the rotunda area of the mall. At 6 am, 7 am and 8 am, 100 guests snapped a code that directed them to Web page revealing their prize. 

“Mall of America is the place for fun and we’re always looking to create engaging and fresh events for our guests,” said Lisa Grimm, digital brand manager for Mall of America, Bloomington, MN.

“With QR codes starting to penetrate mainstream, we looked at this event as an opportunity to explore emerging technology with them by educating them prior and during the event and putting something worth snapping behind the codes,” she said.

“This is our first major promotion utilizing QR codes.”

Snap happy shoppers
Mall of America welcomed more than 15,000 shoppers on Black Friday at midnight and saw 81,000 guests walk through the doors by the morning. 

The three hundred shoppers who participated in the QR code contest won cash and prizes totaling $30,000. 

The Black Friday content is part of a bigger holiday QR code promotion that offers guests the chance to snap a QR code to win a $1,000 shopping spree from Black Friday through Dec. 23. Holiday Snap+Win codes are placed on food court tables, digital signage and on the back of guest service staff t-shirts.

Since Friday, more than 1,000 people have entered to win at the mall.  

This is not Mall of America’s first foray into 2D bar codes. The mall previously used Microsoft Tags for a Theatres at Mall of America promotion but found that people were slow to adopt.

“We also realized how much need for education there is for the consumer around emerging technology and creating the right context for the user to take the action,” Ms. Grimm said.

To address the issue of education in the current effort, Mall of America provided a video to show customers how to use QR codes.

“People started lining up 12 hours before the event to get one of 300 wristbands to participate,” Ms. Grimm said. “By the time we started wristbanding, the line wrapped around the Rotunda and all wristbands were gone by 12:30.

“This was a delightful surprise, as we weren’t sure what to expect with the current state of mainstream use of QR codes,” she said.

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