Best PracticesNov 14th, 2023

QR Codes on your Streaming Automotive Ads?

QR Codes on your Streaming Automotive Ads

Streaming advertising is a form of digital advertising delivered to viewers through internet-based services that bypass traditional cable or satellite TV. Streaming services include popular platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and many others. Advertising on streaming allows you to reach your target audience with video ads, before, during, or after the content viewers are watching. New targeting advances are allowing dealerships to reach in-market shoppers and likely buyers in your market with more precision and more measurable ROAS than ever before.

According to the latest information, more than 90% of TV viewers in the U.S. now stream. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably seen video ads that feature QR codes. For reference, QR codes are a type of barcode, or scannable pattern, that can contain various forms of data, like website links, account information, phone numbers, or even coupons. Using a QR code in your streaming ads can be a good idea, but it depends on specific advertising goals and the context in which you plan to use them. Here are some considerations: 

  • Convenience: QR codes can provide a convenient way for viewers to access more information, visit a website, or take a specific action without the need to manually type in a URL.
  • Clarity and Simplicity: Make sure the QR code is well-designed and clearly visible in your streaming ad. Ensure that it's easy to scan and that viewers understand the value they will get by scanning it.
  • QR Code Familiarity: The effectiveness of QR codes can vary based on how familiar your target audience is with them. Some people may not be accustomed to using QR codes, and their responses might be limited.
  • Tracking: QR codes can also be used to track the effectiveness of your streaming ads. By using unique QR codes for different campaigns or channels, you can gather data on how many people are scanning the code, and when, and where they are doing so, which can provide valuable insights for your marketing efforts.

Consider testing the use of QR codes in a subset of your streaming TV ads to gauge their effectiveness. A/B testing can help you determine whether they enhance engagement and conversion rates.

Additional things to consider if you want to test or use QR codes:

  • Relevance: Ensure that the QR code adds value to your ad and that it is relevant to the content being advertised. If the QR code doesn't provide a clear benefit or enhance the viewer's experience, it may not be worth including. 
  • Mobile Optimization: Keep in mind that QR codes are most commonly scanned using smartphones, so ensure that the landing page or content linked to the QR code is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless user experience. As a further caution however, since a large portion of streaming content is also viewed using a smartphone, those viewers will not be able to use the QR code and the ad may not be clickable so be sure to include enough information for these viewers to contact you another way. 
  • Visual Clutter: Be cautious about overcrowding your streaming ad with too many elements, including a QR code. It's essential to maintain a clean and visually appealing design to ensure that it doesn't clutter the ad or distract from the main message. Again, consider how the ad looks when viewed using a cell phone.

In summary, the decision to use a QR code in your streaming ads depends on your specific campaign goals and target audience. If you can provide a compelling and clear reason for viewers to scan the QR code and it’s to an audience that’s familiar with them, they can be a valuable addition to your ad. Remember it’s important that the ad is designed visually to accommodate them. Ensure that the action they take after scanning the code is relevant and beneficial to them, such as accessing special offers, getting a trade valuation form, or other engagement.

    Ed Steenman is the owner of Steenman Associates, which provides traditional and digital media services to automotive dealerships and dealer groups nationally.

    An internationally recognized writer and presenter, Ed specializes in media planning-buying and a Video OTT and has more than thirty years of experience providing traditional and digital media services to the automotive industry.

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