Late last month, Guthy-Renker - maker of Proactiv - began printing QR codes on the packaging of a new acne treatment called X Out. What's intriguing about the program, dubbed "The Daily Distraction," is not necessarily that it involves QR codes, which are increasingly popular among marketers. It's that Guthy-Renker has found a utility for the codes that fits its direct-to-consumer business model.
Consumers can only buy products like X Out and sister brand Proactiv online or by phone. While CPG and retail marketers using QR codes typically want to create brand engagement in stores, Guthy-Renker is looking to produce a similar experience in the home.
Here's how it could work: Adolescents who buy the product scan a QR code with their smart phone and set the device down on the level surface of the bathroom sink. They repeatedly glance up at the mirror and down at the phone screen, watching a video that shows them how to apply X Out to their face.
"A new video will be posted daily for teens to watch," a spokesperson for the Santa Monica, CA-based company told ClickZ via email. "The [QR codes and videos were] designed to be a built-in compliance measure to help teens recognize the recommended two-minute wash time for best results and to achieve clear skin."
The QR codes initiative has no foreseeable end, the spokesperson stated, calling them "a permanent part of the brand."
Guthy-Renker's ad agencies are Digitas and MSL New York.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.