Successful QR Code Campaigns: TableCat

Applebee’s TableCat QR code campaign has gone viral, and that’s a good thing!

Before the advent of smartphones, waiting in line, or for food seemed to take ages. But now, there’s e-mail to be checked, facebook posts to like, and tweets to be retweeted. And then there’s QR codes, perhaps the most intriguing time-killer ever.

Now, customers at Applebee’s restaurants will be entertained while they await their food. Their table-tents are adorned with a QR code superimposed atop a cat’s mouth. When your smartphone is placed in front of this, it appears as if the cat’s mouth is talking. The cat, coined TableCat, speaks to Applebee’s 14 minute lunch menu, ideal for cubicle dwellers everywhere. While this may seem trivial, this relatively new QR code campaign has driven over 62,000 people.

So what made this campaign get such high results? While most QR code campaigns are more self-promotional, this one focuses more on actual entertainment value. Since everyone pulls out their phone, and there are so many collateral-type pieces of material on Applebee’s table anyway, they thought it would be a good idea to make them interactive, and thus adding a level of entertainment.

It just goes to show that QR code campaigns don’t always have to be about getting a deal, or having people sign up for your e-newsletter. Making a fun QR code campaign is entertaining for both staff and consumers, and gets the word out about your promotion without forcing it. Better yet, TableCat has gone viral, receiving 33,000 YouTube video views, and appearing in comic reviews of the iPhone 4S and Facebook’s timeline feature.
Check out the tablecat video below, not as effective without the cat table-card behind it, yet still funny:

What do you think makes this campaign so effective? Have you seen other restaurants using QR codes in similar light-hearted ways? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.