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Hublot bridges print, digital gap via QR code

January 7, 2013


Swiss watchmaker Hublot is bridging the gap between its print and digital marketing efforts by placing a custom QR code on its magazine advertisements.

The ad was placed in January issues of magazines with a large affluent audience. However, magazine readers who scan the QR code are directed to Hublot’s pinch-and-zoom site that is not as easily viewed on smartphones.

“I think that a QR code like this allows the consumer to engage and take the next step, which is what the brand wants,” said Matt McKenna, founder and president of Red Fish Media, Miami, FL.

“I think that more luxury marketers should create similar QR codes,” he said.

Mr. McKenna is not affiliated with Hublot, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Hublot did not respond before press deadline.

Closing the gap
The ad was featured in the January issues of Condé Nast’s W and Architectural Digest titles. It shows the Big Bang Gold White Full Pavé 38 mm.

Hublot ad in W magazine

Consumers who scan the QR code on their mobile device are redirected to the optimized Hublot Web site where the watch shown in the ad is displayed.

Hublot mobile Web site

The price is not listed on the mobile site since the brand does not offer the commerce function.

However, a boutique and retailer locator is available through the site that can pick up on mobile users' location and show them the nearest Hublot store.

The boutique and retailer location is difficult for users to use on mobile devices since the Web site has not been optimized for mobile users.

Boutique and retail locator

Users can also compare the watch and view its features on the brand's Web site.

Although the Web site is not conducive to mobile devices, featuring the same product on both the print and digital media is a seamless way to connect print consumers to digital marketing.

“This is a frictionless way that people can go directly to the Web site to see the item,” Mr. McKenna said.

Digital showcase

With this QR code, Hublot is likely looking flaunt its products and its Web site, which the brand revamped in 2012.

The watchmaker polished its digital strategy through a Web site that acts as a hub for products, brand culture and corporate social responsibility. It was updated in August 2012

Consumers can look intricately at products, learn about brand responsibilities, watch videos and see high-resolution articles.

The site is divided into sections: watch collections, Hublot manufacture, Hublot world, boutiques and retailers, worldwide service and contact (see story).

A  customized QR code,  like the one Hublot used in the print ad, can give consumers more of an idea that the code will lead directly to the brand’s Web site, Mr. McKenna said.

Although the QR code is branded with a small “H” logo, the branding is not over the top. More heavily branded codes can catch a consumer’s attention and reinforce the brand.

“For the most part, the one that Hublot has here is very generic,” Mr. McKenna said.

“I think that brands need to push QR codes more and make them more appealing to the consumer,” he said. “Brands need to push that creativity when making QR codes.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York