Coca-Cola and Jon Batiste amp up QR codes with audio and artistic imagery

QR codes - Coca-Cola cans

The upgrade in the mobile marketing campaign gave the quick response codes a hotter new experience.

While the pandemic made sure that pretty much everyone is now finally familiar with humble QR codes, this doesn’t mean that people like them all that much.

The barcodes are typically black and white pixelated squares that are functional but not exciting.

A new Coca-Cola campaign took this as a challenge and worked to see if people would enjoy and respond to QR codes more readily if those barcodes were far more artistic in appearance and if a scan allowed the device user to unlock amazing music.

QR Codes - Be Who You Are (Music Video) - Coke Studio - Jon Batiste, J.I.D, NewJeans, Cat Burns, Camilo - Video Screenshot - Coke Studio YouTube

To take on this project Coca-Cola used artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve both of those goals, working with WPP Open X and technologist/artist Troy Ni. The partnership resulted in five distinct barcodes, each with their own unique artistic designs that aligns with components of the “Be Who You Are (Real Magic)” debut music video released by Coke Studio.

The track to which the artistic QR codes link was written by Jon Batiste, who recorded it with other performers.

The highly creative and yet fully functional barcodes appear in movie theater, theme park and stadium OOH displays across the country. Each of them was designed in order of appearance and with a focus on the stars the video features, including Batiste, NewJeans, J.I.D., Camilo, and Cat Burns.

The images have a highly colorful, detailed, energetic and somewhat sci-fi feeling. The look is a solid fit for the concept of giving QR codes a great deal more appeal while also making sure they offer a better representation of where they will lead when scanned.

The last few years have shown that people are willing to pick up their devices and scan barcodes on posters, menus and even on TV or computer screens. The idea now is to give the experience greater appeal so that this will continue to happen, and that consumers will be even more inclined to find out what is behind the appealing image that comprises the barcode.

Coca-Cola’s brand is well suited to a campaign such as this one, as it has been greatly focused on art and technology such as AI in its latest music-focused campaigns.

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