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9 Cutting-edge QR Code Advertising Strategies

QR code marketing is so hot right now. Why? Because QR codes are interactive, accessible, and incite instant action on any advertising platform—even the ones you can’t ‘click.’ All consumers have to do is scan a code with their smartphone, and they’re transported to a second-screen experience where they can browse branded content, download mobile apps, and even convert to a sale.

This is a big opportunity for Connected Television (CTV) advertisers, who can now engage viewers at every stage of the marketing funnel, and with the unique incremental reach of CTV. It’s as simple as adding a QR code to your interactive CTV and video ads. And giving viewers a reason to scan it, of course. 

Even when consumers don’t convert, our most recent CTV and video global benchmarks report shows that any QR code engagement on interactive CTV “reflects high intent and follow-through on the part of the audience.”

With an estimated 213.7 million current CTV viewers in the U.S., the advertising opportunities and potential return on advertising spend (ROAS) are limitless. But we’ll start you off with some ideas.

Here are 8 top QR code campaign strategies to take your CTV advertising to the next level.

1. Make your ad instantly shoppable

QR codes are the new “Buy Now” button for CTV. To create a shoppable ad experience—and drive direct sales—link a QR code to your e-commerce site or the checkout page of a specific product featured in your video ad. Use a call-to-action like “Scan to Buy” and link to a mobile-optimized web page that taps into saved payment options to create a frictionless and immediately gratifying customer experience. 

Get inspired: Avocados From Mexico used a shoppable QR code in their 2022 Super Bowl campaign to encourage viewers to order avocados instantly from the couch! The results? A boost in CTV conversion and a wealth of first-party data, reports AdAge.

2. Gamify the QR experience

Capitalize on the interactive nature of QR codes by gamifying the action of scanning the code. Like an incentivized treasure hunt in a physical store, you can plant a QR code in your video creative as a hidden “Easter Egg” and engage viewers with a strong call-to-action, like “Find the QR Code to Reveal a Surprise.” (Rick and Morty did it.)

(Photo credit: Burger King)

Get inspired: In 2020, Burger King launched an interactive TV campaign featuring a floating QR code that viewers had to chase around the screen with their phones in order to scan. The gamified experience led them to a promotional free burger–in exchange for downloading BK’s new mobile app.

3. Host a Pop Quiz

…that any viewer can ace. Link your QR code to a piece of interactive content, like a quiz that leads to personalized product recommendations or valuable information. You’re hacking into marketing psychology 101 by getting viewers to talk about themselves, with the benefit of continued engagement and interaction on a second screen.


Get inspired: When Ad Council and the American Lung Association wanted to raise awareness for lung cancer screening, Innovid volunteered an interactive video ad campaign featuring a QR code that urged viewers to scan for a lung cancer screening quiz—resulting in a 33.5% lift in brand engagement (and healthier lungs).

4. Promote a QR-exclusive deal

Discounts, promotions, and free trials are incentivizing on any platform. With interactive CTV and video ads, you can level up your campaign by pairing your QR code to a dynamic call-to-action that can be adjusted (instantaneously, and at scale) to various business goals. For example, “Scan for a Free Trial” can direct viewers to app downloads, social media pages, or mobile product pages, per your marketing objectives.

5. Route viewers to your front door

Want to drive foot traffic to your store? These days, that takes convincing. With a QR code that automatically opens up the map application on viewer smartphones—and navigates them directly to your storefront—you’re removing any potential blockers and (literally) driving sales.

6. Boost your app downloads

If your product is an app, or you just want more downloads, link your QR code to your app store product page. By removing the manual task of accessing and searching within the app store, viewers are more likely to take action.

7. Create a hands-on digital experience

Launching a new product? Shorten the consumer journey from awareness to action by linking your QR code to an interactive, mobile product display where viewers can customize or virtually try out what’s new. A CTA like “Scan to Browse” invites high returns on engagement and brand interaction.

Get inspired: Innovid helped LOVESAC drive CTV conversions of a new product line by including a QR code that invited viewers to virtually design their own sectional sofa—driving more than 1,220 QR code scans, at a whopping two times the benchmark engagement rate.

8. Make a statement

While there’s no direct formula for “going viral,” QR codes on CTV are still novel enough to incite mass action, given the right creative and targeting.

Get inspired: Coinbase “broke the internet” at the 2022 Super Bowl with a commercial that featured a floating QR code and absolutely nothing else. The QR code led to Coinbase’s website offering a promo for free bitcoin in exchange for signing up—to the tune of 20 million landing page views in 6 minutes. Talk about brand awareness!

9. Drive more sign-ups

A QR code is a perfect vehicle for jumpstarting data collection and building first-party data. You can use a QR code to drive registrations for a newsletter. Consumer marketers can offer a downloadable coupon via QR code in exchange for an email address. Marketers of high-price items, such as a car or a piece of industrial equipment, can ask prospects to sign-up via a QR code to get more information. And movie or music producers can use a QR code to deliver a calendar reminder about a release.  

Key takeaway for your interactive CTV ad campaign

QR codes are revolutionizing CTV advertising. Depending on your call-to-action, QR-code-enabled creative can immediately drive targeted audiences to conversion-boosting mobile product pages and checkout screens. 

Regardless of your digital campaign objectives, it’s important to find a partner that can seamlessly and painlessly optimize your strategy. At Innovid, dynamic creative video is what we do best—and that includes adding and optimizing QR codes for CTV. With our always-on ad serving, personalization, and measurement we can help you choose the best QR code campaign to maximize your ROAS.