The weekly coupon newspaper arrived in my mailbox today. I quickly scanned through it to see if I could find any QR codes. I did find one. One and only one. After my initial disappointment of only finding one QR code, I decide to see what it was all about. 

As you can see in this photo, the code is inset into a photograph of watermelon which is on sale, so I can assume that the code will tie in with the watermelon somehow. The placement and size of the QR code are prominent on the page. This is a good thing because it not only draws attention (thus piquing the curiosity of the reader), but it also makes the code easier to scan. I’ve seen way too many QR codes that are so small they’re difficult or impossible to scan.

The first thing I noticed is that there is a large amount (2 paragraphs) of text included with the code. The first paragraph has the title of “Fire and Ice Salsa with Watermelon!” Then goes on to to briefly describe a summer themed salsa with watermelon as it’s main ingredient. The salsa sounds delicious but this first paragraph is important because it get’s your mouth watering and wanting for more. Enter paragraph two.

“Watch Chef John Gruver make this recipe!” Ok, I’m guessing a video or photos of the chef making the watermelon salsa. The second paragraph goes on to give instructions to “scan this barcode with your smartphone to view the video.” And there it is, confirmation that we’re about the see a video. This is a good call to action because it’s going to show us a chef making the recipe with the watermelon that’s on sale. So far so good. If we continue reading it goes on to tell us that there are many free QR code reader apps available for download. Telling the reader that they can download an app for free to scan the code is a good idea for those that don’t yet know what QR codes are or how to read them. The last line instructs the reader to visit a website address if they can’t scan the code. It’s always a good idea to include a traditional URL to enter for those who don’t have smartphones or simply choose not to scan the code. When typed into my laptop, the URL takes me to a YouTube page with the exact same video as when I scanned the code. They are delivering the same content no matter how the user chooses to access it.

I won’t go into the video too much except to say that it was short, simple, easy to understand and branded well. As an additional touch, when the video was over and the YouTube description page came up, they had included the complete recipe. Nice!

I’m not sure if Giant Eagle is experimenting or using QR codes in all of they’re marketing but one thing is for sure, they’ve been well informed about QR codes and they use them well. Good placement, large code, enticing text, thorough instructions, consistent content and a bonus complete recipe – Giant Eagle gets it. On a scale of 1-10 I give this code a 9.

We help business owners market and brand their company better through interactive print and mobile web.By helping businesses interact with their customers, we’re able to engage the consumer and track results on a level never imagined before.

 Visit our website at or contact us directly here.