Pinterest Updates Object-Recognizing Lens Feature With QR Code Support

What Happened
Pinterest launched an object-recognizing, image-search Lens feature earlier this year, which enables users to use their smartphone cameras to scan real-world items and get related results on Pinterest. On Tuesday, the company updated the in-app feature to include a Visual Guides function meant to help users narrow down the objects captured by their cameras and figure out what the users really want to search for. Moreover, the social scrapbooking site is also adding QR code support to the Lens feature, allowing users to use it to scan basic QR codes and be redirected to either a Pinterest page or any third-party webpage. A 3D-touch shortcut is also added to the iOS Pinterest app to allow for quick access to this Lens feature.

What Brands Need To Do
This update for the Pinterest Lens feature should give its search platform a much-needed boost and make it more useful for Pinterest’s over 175 million users, whose interests around specific topics such as fashion, design, home decor, and food have kept the social platform competitive against the likes of Facebook and Snap.

With the quick advancement of machine learning and AI-powered solutions, we are starting to see examples of brands primarily using the camera as an input source of the mobile user interface and leverage images to learn about user intent. Snapchat is a prime example of leveraging the camera to engage with mobile users. This trend should provide some inspiration to brands looking to update their digital user experience to be more intuitive and convenient for mobile users.


Source: TechCrunch

How Brands Can Better Utilize Snapchat’s Snapcodes And Influencers

What Happened
Snapchat is offering brands a new way to engage with consumers in the real world as it debuts an ad format called Snap to Unlock. Brands can work with Snapchat to create branded “Snapcodes,” QR codes shaped like the Snapchat logo, to put on billboards, on products, or in stores for interested customers to scan to gain access to extra content. Universal Pictures is among the first to test this new ad unit to promote its new movie The Girl On the Train.

In related news, brands can now use Snaplytics, a social analytics startup dedicated to Snapchat, to identify and track how their influencer campaigns are doing by using their new Influencer Tracking Platform. The tool is designed to provide marketers with data on how many Snapchat users saw an influencer ad and for how long, helping brands to adjust their campaigns accordingly.

What Brands Need To Do
Both products should be of great use to brands trying to reach customers on Snapchat in ways besides conventional video ads. Snap To Unlock offers brands a chance to bring mobile-based interactivity to their out-of-home campaigns or product packaging, and Snaplytics’ Influencer Tracking Platform provides brands with a measurement tool to better understand their sponsored influencer content performance.


Sources: AdAge & Realwire


Budweiser’s Buddy Cup Makes You Friends

As if providing embarrassing photos from your trip to the bar last night wasn’t simple enough with Facebook, Budweiser has provided another factor: the Buddy Cup.  The Brazilian arm of the beer giant is introducing what are probably NFC-equipped cups to its branded events, offering participants the opportunity to enter their Facebook credentials on a page accessed via a QR code (there they are again) on the bottom of the cup.  After this slight barrier to entry, any “cheers” with a similarly equipped cup will lead to a friend request being sent (and why wouldn’t Budweiser gain a “like” in the process?) and accepted.  While this is an interesting application of emerging technology, its activation of brand values could lead to some unfortunate realizations on the morning after.  The Buddy Cup was created by Agencia Africa in partnership with a digital advertising studio in Brazil called Bolha.

SI Swimsuit Models Come To Life Through QR In Lexus Ad

In this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, Lexus is utilizing QR coding to bring the models in the magazine to life. The ad features three models that spring to life when the reader holds a QR reader over the image of the models on the page. The models walk towards the phone to music and a Lexus slogan. This is a definite step forward for a QR technology that’s seemingly stalled out as people continue to criticize its clumsiness, but in this instance Sports Illustrated and Lexus are bringing the technology to a much wider audience in a new form in a continued attempt to keep the swimsuit edition current and innovative. 

McDonald’s Tries QR Codes

Considering the less-than-perfect track record of QR technology, McDonald’s new packaging design may be surprising to some.  The fast food superpower has found a new application for QR codes by placing them on all carry-out bags and fountain soda cups, linking consumers to nutritional information about the food inside. If fast food customers will go out of their way to capture the code, could this breathe new life into QR technology?