QR Code Reviews – Krispy Kreme and Ghostbusters

QR Code Reviews - Krispy Kreme and GhostbustersHappy Halloween!  In honor of this spooky holiday, we will be joined by ghosts, goblins, and other scary creatures that lurk around the internet.  Since ghosts need QR codes too, this QR code is very fitting for today.  Now, on to the review.

Making effective QR codes takes work.  To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes.  By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.

QR Code Reviews - Krispy Kreme and Ghostbusters - QR codeToday we look at a QR code found on a box of the fantastic Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  There is a call-to-action and URL (but not the encoded URL).  Don’t be frightened of these ghosts, just scan the code and capture as many as you can.

The encoded URL is: http://scn.by/9t9ab0htw8k1u8/

QR Code Reviews - Krispy Kreme and Ghostbusters - iPhone screen

QR Code Reviews - Krispy Kreme and Ghostbusters - iPhone screen in landscape

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

QR Code Reviews - Krispy Kreme and Ghostbusters - Rating - 5 out of 5

7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes

Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:

Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?

  • There is a good call-to-action right beside the QR code.

What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?

  • The QR code is the standard black elements but on a green, ectoplasmic background.

Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?

  • This QR code is easy to find, located on the side of the box.

What happens when you scan the code?

  • You are taken to a mobile friendly site with an interesting ghost capturing game situated in New York (via Google Maps)

If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?

  • The landing page has a great design and looks great on mobile devices.

If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?

  • The encoded data does not feature a redirect and thus, would not react well to changes to file names or locations.

Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?

  • The landing page is a fun game but I can’t say there is all that much value provided.  You can find the location of a Krispy Kreme near your GPS location.  Overall, it is a very interesting site.

What We Can Learn

If there’s something strange… in the neighborhood… who you gonna call… HE-MAN!!!

(a little Ghostbusters II movie quote for you)

Way back when the movie came out on VHS (yes, there was life before DVD and Blu-Ray), I watched Ghostbusters so much that not only did the tape wear out, I could (and almost can still, after all those long years) quote most of the movie.  Great movie, good memories… back to the QR code.

Krispy Kreme has obviously spent a lot of time and focus on their campaign that looks back 30 years to the movie Ghostbusters.  This QR code is located on the side of the box and includes a good call-to-action but no URL (well, not really).  When decoded, the URL does not feature the company or product name.  When scanned, the user is taken to a well designed landing page featuring a game with a Ghostbusters theme and a locator to help you find some yummy doughnuts.

One interesting thing about this landing page, similar to a previous review featuring the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250, is what happens when you rotate your mobile device to landscape; you are provided a message to turn your device back to portrait.  Krispy Kreme does a better job in this case, but it is an interesting feature that is rare at the moment but I’ll bet will become more and more prevalent in the future.

From a user perspective, the QR code is super easy to find.  The design is all about Ghostbusters with slime globs scattered around.  The QR code can be found in the center of a green splat.  The call-to-action encourages the user to scan the code to play a game.  When scanned, you are taken to a great page featuring a fun game of catching ghosts.  As you scroll down, you can use the link to find a Krispy Kreme near you.  Overall, a great campaign.

How can we help Krispy Kreme?

Krispy Kreme has had several fantastic QR code campaigns in the past, one last Halloween (Krispy Skremes) and a door decal for customers to download the Hot Light app.  It is obvious that the company understands QR codes almost as well as they understand doughnuts.

This particular campaign featuring Ghostbusters is another great example.  One area for improvement would be to feature the company name or product name in the encoded URL itself.  It’s not a huge deal but helps, depending on the scanning app.  Most customers would be more comfortable visiting a site if the QR code included the company name or product.  If the scanning app displays the encoded data, a strange looking URL could discourage some customers from visiting the site.


When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:

  • Encoded URLs featuring the company or product name are more likely to be visited than a strange looking, forwarding URL.  Don’t give your customers any reason to not visit your site.
  • Incorporate QR codes into the overall design of your product whenever possible.  Not only will you encourage more visits to your mobile site, you provide more ways for customers to engage with you.  A few options will encourage customers to visit your site.  Too many options will often paralyze their decision making ability.

We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products.  I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peasbrake padssilicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more.  What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?

If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help.   If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.