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The Impact of QR Codes on Buyer Intent in OOH Advertising

September 29, 2021

Consumer behavior is adapting to the constant shifts that continue to occur in our daily lives. While more people are returning to routine,  safety protocols continue to be paramount. As a result, touchless experiences are rapidly being expanded and have elevated the impact of QR codes in the out-of-home (OOH) space.

OOH Ads with Outdoor Advertising

QR codes were originally invented to track car parts for the manufacturing process. In 2002, the rise of smartphones prompted companies to place them in out-of-home ads. Since the code was capable of storing data, people could scan it to download an app and experience a brand-related interaction. Today, QR codes offer advanced mobile capabilities through an interactive yet hands-free  experience. Smart cities are even planning to launch digital storefronts with QR code-driven ad campaigns. 

Opportunities for QR codes with OOH Ads

Most smartphones are equipped with a built-in QR code reader that can make everything from digital menus to virtual shopping a possibility. That said, here are some ways you can currently leverage QR codes in your marketing strategy.

Contactless Engagement

As we navigate the new normal, it seems that more consumers are headed outdoors for both business and pleasure. Summer research from OAAA and The Harris Poll found that 41% or respondents are paying more attention to OOH ads than before the pandemic, especially of Urbanites and Millennials who say they are more likely to notice outdoor ads, 59% and 64%, respectively. With 49% of total respondents saying they have looked up an advertiser after seeing OOH ads, QR codes are engaging audiences and prompting action. Audiences can instantly learn more about brands within the comfort of their own device after being exposed to the initial brand awareness messaging. 

Vaccination rates may be on the rise, but the ongoing pandemic means that most people may not abandon social distancing etiquette. Brands will be pressured to create touchless experiences from transit, street-level media to billboard, digital spectaculars.

Coors Light Vegas QR Code OOH

The advantage of billboard advertising is that consumers can interact with them or scan a QR code from a distance. They can learn product information or place an order while standing apart from nearby commuters. We can then safely assume that public places could be converted into QR code shopping destinations, which have a significant impact on buyer intent.

Combining QR Codes with Emerging Technologies

QR code technology seems to be ahead of the pack but it’s not the only player that will re-emerge onto the contactless scene. NFC tags, beacon technology, and geofencing are alternative solutions that can also influence buying intent. 

For example, imagine a digital bus shelter or street level wallscape equipped with geofencing and QR code technology. This combination allows advertisers to collect relevant data on their ad’s impact, which could serve as a guide for future campaigns. 

Ready to use OOH ads to influence Buyer Intent?

OOH ads with QR codes can play a big role in customer acquisition. To explore more opportunities, advertisers and agencies can connect with Billups to plan outdoor media placements using QR codes and other technologies to deliver direct business outcomes. Your audiences can enjoy tactful and contactless engagement while interacting with your brand’s marketing content. Additionally, we have tools that can measure the results of each placement and its impact on ROI to ensure your advertising budget is well-spent. 

Are you interested in leveraging QR codes for your upcoming OOH campaigns? Get in touch with our Billups team or scan the QR code to learn more.


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