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Gucci tries digital QR codes for watch push

June 14, 2012


Italian fashion house Gucci is pushing the new timepieces in its I-Gucci Sport collection with QR codes on digital images and video.

Consumers can scan QR codes placed on Facebook, Google+ and a video on Gucci’s watches and jewelry microsite to view mobile-optimized content about the new timepieces. The QR codes were created to mark the label’s presence at the InfoComm 2012 conference where the label is showing a new immersive retail concept with Samsung.

"QR codes are a great strategy for print and out-of-home advertising, but the information provided on the Web site would have sufficed for me," said Matt McKenna, founder and president of Red Fish Media, Miami Beach, FL.

"QR codes usually serve as a gateway and transcend print ads into the mobile space."

Gucci declined comment.

Desktop to mobile 
Gucci is placing QR codes on images posted on it social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as in a video located on its watch and jewelry microsite at

Video on the Gucci Timeless microsite 

The four social media images show the new timepieces in the I-Gucci watch collection. A QR code is placed at the top right corner.

Social media image 

When scanned, smartphone users are taken to a mobile-optimized site to test functions of the watches.

The site is split into seven sections including Alarm, Chronograph, Dual Chronograph, Countdown, Tachymeter, Pedometer and Sailing. Each section shows a test of its respective function.

Mobile site 

For example, the Pedometer will record steps by responding to body motion, per the site. Users can press the button on the watch to sample how it records steps, but the mobile site does not actually measure steps for the user.

Also, the dual chronograph function shows how an I-Gucci watch can record two different lengths of time on the same face. The watch beeps as it would if in use.

Dual chronograph function 

The mobile site is available in nine languages including English, French, Italian and Mandarin. It does not link to ecommerce.

The QR codes were created to mark Gucci’s appearance at the InfoComm 2012 conference in Las Vegas where the label is showing a new immersive retail concept with Samsung and to raise awareness for the release of the new timepieces, per Gucci.

Social media image 

Gucci and Samsung will launch the first digital shop-in-shop with timepieces and jewelry to be installed in select retail locations worldwide.

At the Gucci booth, attendees can access the I-Gucci QR code content with their Samsung phones or Galaxy tablets.

Creative code
Luxury brands mainly use QR codes in print, likely to create multimedia touchpoints on an otherwise static channel.

For example, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer printed a QR code on its advertisement in the May issue of Vogue to bring readers to mobile-optimized content that showcases its women’s timepieces.

TAG Heuer’s mobile content offers information on its Formula 1, Aquaracer and Link women’s collections, a video, a store locator, ecommerce partners and a Twitter feed (see story).

Also, department store chain Bloomingdale's placed mobile bar codes on almost every page of its women’s and men’s catalog released in February, which let consumers learn more about the looks featured.

Additionally, underneath each QR code, there was an SMS call to action (see story).

Online QR codes are not seen often in the fashion industry.

Gucci might be reaching out to consumers who are on the digital channel already and probably use mobile often. These consumers might appreciate the I-Gucci digital watches more than a traditional chronograph.

The label’s use of mobile-optimized content was also a good move to let consumers browse the watch’s functions with ease.

While Gucci is taking steps in the right direction, online QR codes are probably not as effective as print or in-store codes, per Mr. McKenna.

"I think Gucci could have done a much better job with its custom QR codes," Mr. McKenna said. "But I think this will add value to Gucci if they plan on utilizing these codes in print and in-store."

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York