Thursday, April 15, 2010

Luxury Brand Wins With QR Codes

Hearts On Fire, The World's Most Perfectly Cut Diamond, is carried in 34 countries, including over 500 US retail locations. Widely considered to be the leaders in the diamond engagement ring category, they continually look for new ways to connect with buyers. As a market leader in the 21st century, it is important to adapt your brand to changes that occur through technology, exposing the new efficiencies they bring. It almost seems as if Hearts On Fire has done this before.

Print advertising has seen better days, no doubt about it. The internet era has brought forth several "game changers" to advertising. Most notably, Google. For consumers today, there are unlimited ways to get information to make a buying decision, this has diluted the effectiveness of print advertising somewhat. Converging the mobile web with a traditional powerhouse such as print gives it entirely new fire power. Print can now be "clicked" by a smartphone user to continue the conversation beyond the ad. Not only that, the user is giving permission to dive deeper into content. They are "tapping in" per se. People do like advertising, just on their own terms. A new model for success?

Bridging The Gap
Hearts On Fire has connected mobile web content to magazine ads using QR codes as the link. Short for "quick response", these codes contain URL's that when scanned, direct users to a Hearts On Fire mobile landing page. Without having to type in a URL, QR codes are the fastest link from print to the web.

The Boston-based diamond company teamed up with a Michigan mobile tech company, Tappinn, to execute the campaign. Tappinn is a web platform to build, track and manage mobile websites and QR codes.

Smartphones have become an increasingly popular portal to the internet and brand content needs to be formatted accordingly. Tappinn has made it incredibly easy to build custom mobile web pages to deploy them with QR codes.

"We know our customers (especially our bridal customers) prefer to access information from their phone. This technology allows us to give them what they need and direct them to their closest Hearts On Fire retailer in the most efficient way possible. Plus, it is fun to use" says Caryl Capeci, VP of Marketing for Hearts On Fire.

The Hearts On Fire mobile landing page includes links to engagement ring galleries, social fan pages, retailer finder, product pages and easy sharing function on Facebook and Twitter.

"Readers see ads in magazines that they like but haven't had the means connect with them in real time. That has been what's missing from print, the "click-ability". TODAY is all about the connection and the mobile device has changed the way we make those connections. QR codes teamed with targeted mobile web content is the most efficient way to bridge the communication gap between readers of a magazine and an ad" says Nicholas Ford, Co-Founder of Tappinn.

"It's just the easiest way to let readers efficiently browse more information pertaining to your ad from their phone, it's not magic. Just imagine now having the ability to "like" "friend" and "share" Hearts On Fire styles that you see in the pages of a magazine from your phone. QR codes add the missing link to print advertising, literally." 

Check out the Hearts On Fire advertisement in Elle magazine which will reach newsstands on April 21st.

Download a QR code reader 

There are lot's of QR codes reader apps out there, too many to keep track of. Here are a few good ones that we recommend. Unfortunately, if you don't fit into these categories you're probably going to have a hard time. Iphone and Android and the leaders by far in ease of usability. Just hover your camera over the code and it picks it up instantly!(in the past you would have to actually snap a picture with the app)

Iphone apps: MobileTag, Neo Reader,

Android apps: ZXing, MobileTag

Blackberry apps: BeeTag, (BBM 5.0 has QR reader built in, although it's slow)

Windows Mobile: Quickmark

Below are some bonus images to help get users in the swing of scanning. Courtesy of Hearts On Fire. Click on the images to blow up. Have Fun!


  1. Good post, Here is a post I developed as part of a series titled The Internet of Things. It is surprising that QR codes have taken this long to reach America and be adopted by the advertising crowd. Apparently, they don’t know a good thing when they see it.

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