Pork marketing – does this QR code experience bring home the bacon?

I was cooking some sausages the other day and I spotted a QR code on the packet, but I’m not sure the experience lived up to my expectations. So the question is, when using a QR code, what tactics bring home the bacon?


This quirky QR code on my sausages caught my eye, so I scanned it

This important thing about a QR code I think, is that it appears interesting and enticing enough in the first place to scan. Much like direct mail hitting the doormat, it needs to make an immediate impact and grab your interest. I think there are a few things from the pork marketing that worked.

Why I scanned this code

To entice me to scan your QR code, you would need some of the following.

1. Location, location, location

This code stood out. I don’t see so many QR codes on food and, when I do, it tends to be on the back of the packaging surrounded by other copy and images. This was on the front on its own, so it stood out and got my attention.

2. Design

Essentially QR codes are meaningless nonsense to the human eye. They don’t have a face or any kind of meaning on their own, so how they are positioned and what surrounds them makes a big impact. This code was nicely designed, the pig was saying several things to me – rare bread, farming, sauges, bacon, nom-nom-nom!

3. Call to action

So I noticed your sticker and like the design of your pig. Now what? A nice simple call to action – “scan me” –  sealed the deal and got me to fire up the app on my smart phone and see where I ended up.

You’re only half way there

So far so good but getting me onto your website is only half the battle – what are you going to do with me now I’m on your website? As it turns out, not so much:

Landing page

This is the page I landed on once I scanned the code

That’s right – not a sausage!

Although it is optimised for mobile (albeit only in portrait), I think this page is a let down because it doesn’t have that much to do with the product I purchased. Now I know that is more work – a different code for each product type – but Waitrose is a premium brand and I was expecting a premium digital experience. I didn’t get that.

Also, the mechanics of the page are geared only to mobiles. So if share this page with a desktop user they will be hampered. As I write this post I’m struggling to navigate to the sausage content I’m after because I can’t switch to a desktop version. (Grrr!)

Here’s what I could have won

I wanted sausage content beause I’d scanned a code on a packet of sausages. They had sausage content! Including a picture of some lovely bangers and an “interesting fact”,

“The world’s longest sausage weighed 15.5 tonne and was 35 miles long.”

Although, they are not quite right as the world’s longest sausage was 36.75 miles long.


They are good at getting my attention but Waitrose let themselves down with their landing page – It lacked relevance to what I scanned, wasn’t very well optimised, didn’t utilise call to actions (not even social sharing) and they hadn’t checked their facts. For me, a premium product with a value range digital experience.

What do you think?

Have you seen a QR code that brings home the bacon?


You don’t need a microsite, you need a message!

People often ask me about building a fundraising microsite and I’m happy to help them. But, the thing is, I think they are asking the wrong question. Maybe they should ask, “what tools do I need to fundraise online?”

The microsite delusion – if you build it, they will come

Is there a cause you are passionate about and you want to raise funds for them? Great. Here’s a tip for you – you don’t need a website, you need a message.

A message and an audience. So where is the biggest audience, like, ever? Facebook.

“Alough the website was useful, the most effective tool was Facebook”

Phil Szomszor, Fundrasier for St Michael’s Hospice

Hell yeah it was.

Now I know Phil also said his website was “useful” but this is a guy who works in Technology PR, so he probably had skills and resources that most people don’t. And, even then, the most effective tool was still Facebook.

So don’t go about building a website unless you are slinging them up left, right and centre faster than a boy scout can pitch a tent. Otherwise it is simply too much effort for what you will get out of it – not enough bang for your buck, a mediocre return on investment, a sub optimal cost income ratio. Getting the picture?

Fear not, Facebook is an awesome tool

Facebook works great for fundraising – spreading your message, hosting events, sharing photos, video, links to press coverage. It does pretty much everything a website can do. Not Convinced? Then ponder these facts:

  • A spontaneous Facebook campaign resulted in the NSPCC gaining 50,000 new supporters and around £100,000 in donations in just 48 hours. The number of visitors to the children’s charity’s website also shot-up up by 500%.

NSPCC tweet

  • 27% of Just Giving donations are from Facebook and that was in 2011, it’s probably gone up.
  • Facebook completely outstrips other soical networks for the number of donations it provides

(Many thanks to Just Giving for those stats, you can find our more in their fundraising infographic.)

That’s right – you don’t need a fundraising microsite

You need a message. A story. Something people can identify with. I can’t tell you what that should be, but you will know it when you see it.

I would advise though not to rush into the raising awareness and spreading the word about your fundraising until you have worked out what your story is. It is very important. People learn through stories and if you want them to listen to you and take action, you need the right message. The right story.

Once you have a message, then you can think about the most effective tools to spread the word and what might work for you. I would only consider three in the 1st instance and in this order

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogs

And I probably wouldn’t bother with the blog to start off with.

Once I was happy that I was spreading my message, telling my story effectively, I might consider adding in some other elements to build upon that. Perhaps a little content curation but only if I thought what I was doing was working. By “working” I mean spreading my message, getting people to help out, getting some press coverage, getting people sponsoring or sending in ££. Things I could count, measure or spend.

If you are Facebooking and Tweeting away and you still don’t think you are getting the results you want, you might need to make sure your message is working for you. Do people “get” your story?


All of these things, Facebook and wot not, are just tools. It is your story that is doing the fundraising because your story is the most powerful way to get your fundraising message across, social media is just a way to share the story.

So, what’s your story?