QR code on coffee sleeves gives café customers the news

Tim Hortons mobile payments app

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons UAE locations use mobile barcodes to offer the latest headlines with their beverage.

Global coffee chain, Tim Hortons, has added a special QR code to its coffee sleeves in six of its United Arab Emirates locations, to provide the latest news headlines via Gulf News.

This newspaper has the highest English circulation in the UAE.

The coffee cup sleeves at the participating Tim Hortons café and bake shop locations in the country are printed on demand with the latest global headlines of the hour, and feature a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone. The headlines are the latest postings from the Twitter stream of the newspaper.

This converted the little cardboard sleeve into an entirely new and powerful advertising medium for both the coffee chain and the newspaper. It has been called the Headline News Cup Sleeve. It uses a special news printer to make sure that the sleeves are always kept up to date within the latest hour so that customers will be able to see the latest headlines with their fresh coffee purchase.

When a mobile customer scans the QR code, he or she is directed to the full story associated with the headline, which is located on the Gulf News mobile website. This gives the customer the opportunity to enjoy his or her coffee along with the newspaper – a favorite activity for coffee drinkers, but with a modern technology twist.

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General manager of Tim Hortons UAE, Abhijit Bose, said that it is about “adding a value to the guests who are coming in,” as they will be receiving not only a fresh coffee, but also the latest news from around the world.

Preliminary results are looking very positive. After 840,000 had been distributed, featuring 1,440 tweets of the latest headlines, the traffic to the Gulf News website rose by 41 percent, with a 2.8 percent subscription increase.

This achievement was considered to be successful enough to warrant the expansion of the program by the marketing agency, Y&R Dubai. It now intends to broaden the QR code program to include all of the Tim Hortons outlets throughout the United Arab Emirates. This will also include 14 new locations which will be opening soon.

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