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Walmart, Procter & Gamble drive mobile shopping with QR codes

June 12, 2012

Walmart and Procter & Gamble are placing QR codes on bus shelters and trucks to encourage on-the-go consumers to scan and instantly buy products from brands such as Tide, Pampers and Gillette.

The campaign will run throughout the month of June. The initiative targets urban shoppers in Chicago and New York.

“QR codes are one of those things that for us is really big,” said Chad Brizendine, brand manager of Walmart Grooming at Procter & Gamble, Fayetteville, AR.

“We’re going to reach all parts of Manhattan and really bring this message to the folks in New York City,” he said. “In Chicago, we took over a bunch of bus shelters and created a storefront where consumers can scan and shop.

“We’re really trying to focus on urban environments.”

Mobile deals
The Walmart and Procter & Gamble initiative lets consumers save on limited-edition everyday essentials.

There are 12 bus shelters along the Magnificent Mile and Michigan Avenue in Chicago that are wrapped in a pop-up store experience.

The mobile storefronts feature nine limited-edition Olympic SKUs, as well as mobile bar codes next to products such as Bounty towels, Iams dog food and Pampers Cruisers.

When consumers scan the QR codes, they are redirected to Walmart’s mobile site where they can buy the product.

Additionally, there will be a P&G truck touring New York that will be giving out samples to consumers passing by, which includes samples from some of the limited-edition items.

Consumers will also be given takeout menus featuring QR codes that let them shop the products no matter where they are.

The P&G truck will stop at location such as the upcoming Big Apple Barbeque Block Party, Union Square Park and the Fashion District.

Mobile bar codes are on the rise and by placing them on places such as bus shelters, marketers are engaging consumers in a clever way.

Mobile evolution
P&G and Walmart have been ramping up their mobile efforts in the past few years.

Last year, Internet grocer Peapod, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble’s Charmin gave smartphone owners in Philadelphia another way to shop for groceries while they commute to work.

Posters at Philadelphia transit stations featured a variety of commonly purchased grocery items along with QR codes that commuters could scan with the Peapod app to order the items (see story).

Additionally, Walmart launched the Web Slinger augmented reality app, featuring Spider-Man and enabling customers to interact with in-store displays to access exclusive content.

Walmart’s first effort to tie mobile and film promotions together was an augmented reality app for “The Avengers” film, which was introduced in April and enabled customers to turn an in-store shopping experience into a scavenger hunt. The latest app is in support of the retailer’s promotional efforts for the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man (see story).”

“This campaign really targets urban shoppers,” Mr. Brizendine said.  “It’s not a national message.

“We just set up our twitter account and we’re going to be tweeting about this and we’re really hoping it will also spread through word-of-mouth,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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