Beverage start up counts on QR codes

Will we start to see QR codes on pkg goods?

Starts ups are tough…especially consumer goods start ups.  In the crowded energy drink space, you have to be pretty innovative to push beyond getting someone’s attention and converting that to a purchase.

So HYDRIVE Energy, the maker of upstart HYDRIVE Enhanced Water Energy Drinks, decided to try something different.  On two of their products  – decaf and extra strength, they’ve added a QR code.

When scanned, the QR codes take consumers to a mobile site offering a constantly changing array of wacky fitness trivia, contests, free prizes and product information.

They worked with a group of digital marketing students at Harvard Business School to create a QR code strategy for the brand. One of the things that makes this campaign unique is that when you scan the code, you’re delivered to the site which delivers fresh and varied content each time.

By offering different content with each scan, they’ve replicated the “under-the-cap” promotional experience often used in traditional soft drink marketing but in a digital way.   According to HYDRIVE’s director of marketing, their goal is to create a more interactive and intimate relationship with our product.

The HYDRIVE QR site features four sections; a changing daily trivia fact or a free prize; a monthly sweepstakes; a link to product information; and a link to Facebook. The social media component is an important strategic initiative for HYDRIVE as they continue to build it out.

You can check it out by finding the nearest location to buy a HYDRIVE Energy here or just click here to go right to the site.

What do you think — good use of QR codes?

Note:  The folks at HYDRIVE sent me a couple bottles so I could try the QR codes.
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6 comments on “Beverage start up counts on QR codes

  1. Carol Covin says:

    Fascinatingly clever use of QR code.

    I’m going to be a volunteer at a local industry conference where the volunteers’ shirt backs have been printed with a QR code that attendees can scan as part of a scavenger hunt.

    1. Carol,

      Now that is a very innovative use of the QR codes. I know some college campuses are doing the same thing at their orientations. You’ll have to come back and l let us know how it worked at your conference.


  2. Jay Online says:

    I like the placement of the QR code on that bottle. I think companies should start putting these codes on the packaging most definitely. The 2D ones are boring and don’t do anything for the consumer.

    I recently installed a scanner on my smartphone and I scan every QR code I come across.

    1. Jay,

      One thing I wonder is — will we get bored scanning all the time? Do you think you’ll keep scanning or will you hit a saturation point?


  3. Carol Covin says:

    Don’t know how the scavenger hunt went. Never talked to anyone trying to scan the shirts.

    Might have been the wrong audience. They were very focused on the content at the conference, whereas college students, especially at orientation, if it helps them meet people, might be more inclined.

    Also, the volunteers could not wear coats because it would obscure the codes and, I have very long hair, so tried to make sure it hung in front, so it wouldn’t obscure the codes. A bit annoying.

    Points for creativity, though.

    1. Carol,

      Hmm, you may be right about the audience. But everything isn’t successful on the first try. So I agree…points for creativity and the willingness to try something new. I hope they’ll try it again.


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