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A Scannable Summer: QR Codes Catch Gen-Z’s Attention

This summer, see which brands are using scannable technology and QR codes to provide Gen-Z with more unique digital and mobile experiences.

Revolution Digital  |  June 24, 2019
A Scannable Summer: QR Codes Catch Gen-Z’s Attention

Get ready to whip out your smart phones. In an attempt to break through the clutter, some of our favorite brands are using QR codes and scannable technology to provide fans with more unique mobile experiences, and their primary target is one and the same: Gen-Z. Why? Because they’re a generation of consumers who don’t want to be served a slew of advertisements — they expect an experience.

Check out how these brands are using mobile interactive campaigns to create memorable activations that set them apart from the competition:

Pepsi Grabs Summer by the Bottle
Ready to live your ‘Best.Summer.Ever’? Pepsi is! The beverage giant kicked off an unofficial start to summer with the launch of their #Summergram campaign. Not only does their new packaging feature bold text with ‘punny’ sayings like “License to Grill,” “Call Me on My Shell Phone,” and “Turnt Not Burnt,” but each bottle hosts a QR code where users can unlock hundreds of summer-themed, custom augmented reality (AR) filters on Instagram. Add a dancing crab to your summer BBQ, a bikini-wearing starfish to your beach trip, or try on some Pepsi-branded flippers while you’re poolside. Plus, these AR filters and summer themes will also be used in TV commercials and on thousands of custom billboards in hopes of driving brand engagement and appealing to younger audiences.

Macy’s Steps Into Style
Taking a stroll through the park and realizing your sneakers might be just a few months too old? You’re in luck – Macy’s recently launched an experiential campaign that provides users with curated outfit options, all with the scan of a cell phone.

Popular retailer locations like Central Park, The Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier, have created outfits specific to each area, which can be viewed on shoppable Pinterest boards. The retailer’s shift in focus to mobile appeals to consumers who are mobile-driven and on-the-go during the summer months.

Land of the Free and Home of the Dew
Mountain Dew is all about red, white & blue. The brand is getting patriotic with their most recent campaign, “DewNited States,” in an effort to recognize the many activities in which Americans participate and to highlight those differences as what makes this country so great.

In addition to new, limited-edition bottles featuring artwork tailored to each state, the brand has also teamed up with Walmart to offer consumers a more immersive experience. Fans will have the opportunity to watch each state ‘come to life’ through 50 different AR experiences that can be shared on social media after scanning the QR code found on the bottles. Not only does Mountain Dew want to honor America, but they want to capture the attention of younger audiences who celebrate societal differences and are often attracted to mobile.

Coca-Cola Sips the Summer Away
Who would have thought winning free concert tickets could be as easy as sitting back and enjoying a refreshing Coke on a hot day? This summer, fans have a chance to win more than 150,000 prizes by using their smartphone cameras to scan a “Sip & Scan” icon found on summer-themed, peel-away wristbands located on the bottles. Prizes include tickets for concerts, movies and amusement parks, along with a chance to meet members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and light fireworks at a NASCAR race.

Like Pepsi’s campaign, Coca-Cola wants to create original experiences that consumers can capture with their smartphones and share on social media.

Got a Wrangler QR Code on My Booty
Lil Nas X and Wrangler are slipping on their cowboy boots for a playful campaign that builds off of the success of this year’s hit single “Old Town Road.” Wrangler jeans are now the key to unlocking behind-the-scenes footage of the Lil Nas x Billy Ray Cyrus music video for the collab that raps “cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty.”

When consumers visit the microsite, they are asked to scan the back pocket of their Wrangler jeans, which then unlocks exclusive footage and the option to directly shop Wrangler’s collection with Lil Nas X. Pretty cool, huh?

With Gen-Z seeking more and more original experiences with brands, we’re seeing an increase in unique, digital efforts that focus on mobile-driven, shareable moments. At Revolution Digital, we remain on the pulse of digital, mobile, and social trends that can translate into larger, more meaningful campaigns. From creating immersive, digital-first experiences to steering brands into new territories, we can help you get there. If you’re interested in working together, reach out to us at

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