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Bell & Ross aims for mcommerce via QR code placement

July 11, 2013


Watchmaker Bell & Ross is taking its print advertisement to the next level by placing a QR code on the page to allow consumers who are interested in the product to find more information and purchase products from their mobile devices.

The latest Bell & Ross ad for its WWI Chronographe Monopoussoir with a QR code is found in the July 2013 issue of Robb Report. The QR code takes consumers to a mobile-optimized site where they can learn more about the timepieces and make purchases.

"I don't see a flood of readers scanning the code, but those who do will get an experience that the advertiser can't deliver solely through a print ad," said Jeff Hasen, a Seattle-based mobile marketing consultant.

"The code provides more detail on the products and builds excitement," he said.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Bell & Ross, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bell & Ross did not respond by press deadline.

Scanning and shopping
The plain print ad featured an image of the WWI Chronographe Monopoussoir watch, the brand’s logo at the bottom and a QR code.

Bell & Ross ad

Scanning the QR code leads consumers to a landing page on Bell & Ross’ mobile-optimized site that shows off two versions of the watch in the ad.

A click through on the watch images leads to a page where consumers can view the watches by collection.

Watch collections

The bottom of the site gives additional offers such as all of the watches, viewing new models, go to the e-boutique and find the nearest store.

The mobile-optimized e-boutique allows consumers to shop for products by a number of categories. Clicking on a product gives an overview of the item, images, the ability to share it on social media and add it to the cart.



Also, the site contains a boutique and retailer locator.

Store locator

Bell & Ross previously used a similar advertising strategy, but the brand did not have a commerce option on its mobile site at the time.

The watchmaker’s ad in the latest issue of WSJ. magazine shows a QR code on the bottom-left corner. When scanned, smartphone users can find more information on the two variations of the WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir (see story).

For consumers who are interested in this timepiece, they will likely scan the QR code if they can.

"I do think this is a positive brand experience because the ad is very clean and to the point," said Sara Read, vice president of business development at Red Fish Media, Miami, FL.

"The campaign is focused on the WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir and the QR Code connects a mobile-friendly page continuing the experience and providing the consumer with additional information about the watch being advertised," she said.

"The site also allows you to socially share, send to a friend or learn more about the product."

On time
Many other watchmakers have used QR codes to lead consumers from a magazine to the Internet.

For instance, British watchmaker Christopher Ward aimed to trigger mobile sales through a QR code on its print advertisement in the spring issue of Aston Martin magazine.

The QR code links to Christopher Ward’s U.S. Web site, which allows consumers to learn more about the C900 Harrison Single Pusher Chronograph and make a purchase. Although the site is not mobile-optimized, it contains images and a video that can be viewed from the pinch-and-zoom site (see story).

In addition, Franck Muller is directing print readers to the brand’s Facebook page through a QR code placed on its ad in the spring issue of DuJour magazine.

Scanning the QR code with a mobile device leads consumers to the brand’s Facebook page where it is easy for them to instantly “like” the watchmaker (see story).

However, using a QR code can sometimes leave out consumers who are not capable of scanning the code on their devices. Providing alternate means to view a mobile-optimized site, social media page or Web site can also be important to include on a print ad.

For Bell & Ross, the code will only be effective with those who can scan it and access the information.

"I wish that they provided an alternate means of accessing the information, such as messaging via a keyword and short code," Mr. Hasen said.

"This way, all could participate rather than just those who had a QR scanner and an inclination to dive in," he said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York