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Converse kicks up spring collection with QR code campaign

Footwear brand Converse is partnering with retailer Journeys on an in-store mobile bar code campaign that lets users shop the company’s famous line of Chuck Taylor shoes.

Converse has placed the QR codes in windows at Journeys stores as part of the “Plug Into Color” campaign to promote a line of colorful Chuck Taylor shoes that is exclusively available at Journeys. In addition to buying shoes, the mobile initiative is also aiming to boost Converse’s email  and SMS databases.

“Mobile plays a significant role in the life of the Converse consumer. Smartphone penetration for consumers aged 12 to 24-years-old is more than 90 percent, and it is a device they have with them from the second they wake up to the second they go to sleep,” said John Aldrich, vice president of brand communications at Converse, North Andover, MA.

“Thus, from a mobile marketing perspective it is critical for us to do more than just show up – we need to be organic and purposeful,” he said.

“Mobile gives us a platform to push out content consumers want on their phone and will engage with and share throughout their day.”

Mobile kicks
The Converse mobile bar codes are being placed prominently in Journeys’ store windows and on print marketing. The campaign is part of a broader mobile initiative that Converse is using over the next year or two to tie content to specific in-store promotions.

The QR codes encourage users to scan the mobile bar code to unlock an exclusive music track from the spring campaign. The mobile bar code also plugs Converse’s SMS program to let consumers learn more via text messaging.

When consumers scan the mobile bar code, they are taken to a landing page to view the new line of Converse Chuck Taylors in spring-themed colors. The mobile page then redirects users to Journeys mobile site, where consumers can shop the shoes, check in-store availability or order with a click-to-call feature.

To unlock the music track, consumers can have the song sent via their email address. The page also promotes Converse’s email sign-up, which is a smart way for Converse to capture email addresses.

Users can also access the mobile content by texting the keyword CONVERSE to the short code 78527. Consumers are then sent a text message with a link to the mobile site.

Not only does the mobile bar code include a clear call to action, it also gives consumers an incentive for shopping on their handsets because the collection is only available at a particular retailer.

The in-store mobile bar codes

Scanned shopping
The Converse QR codes are customized to include the brand’s name and color, which can be effective in getting users’ attentions.

For example, a recent survey from Scanbuy found that 47 percent of consumers are more likely to scan a customized QR versus a plain black-and-white one.

Converse is not the only shoe brand using mobile bar codes to drive sales of a new product.

Recently, Rockport used an out-of-home installation in New York that was equipped with mobile bar codes for a product launch (see story).

The campaign was used to launch the TruWALK line of shoes and encouraged users to scan a mobile bar code prominently placed on the side of the display to buy the shoes.

Although some marketers doubt the effectiveness of mobile bar codes, they are certainly being used to get users’ attention.

The Converse mobile bar codes are large and used as both windows decals and on a poster in front of a store, which stops consumers in their tracks to learn more. This tactic can be used to drive in-store sales.

“By having mobile bar codes in-store for a specific promotion, brands can leverage customers already invested interest and time in the store to deliver additional content about the brand, deals and discounts on products and services as well as drive purchases,” said Mike Wehrs, president/CEO of Scanbuy, New York.

“The integration of mobile bar codes in retail environments has proven to be an effective way to bring the digital shopping experience into the store,” he said.

“There are many strategies that brands of any type can do to create an endless aisle, such as offering additional styles or create inventory if a particular shoe size is unavailable.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York