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Krispy Kreme Leverages QR Codes to Sweeten Valentine’s Day Offer

February 4, 2013
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Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme is leveraging mobile and social to sweeten a Valentine's Day offer for its heart-shaped donuts, as well as drive in-store traffic. There is a QR code located on the Valentine's Day box of donuts that enables users to send a Krispy Kreme Valentine e-card to someone special. The donuts are available now through Feb. 14 at the Krispy Kreme display inside participating mass merchants and grocery stores.

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QR codes have long been powerful marketing tools for advertisers looking to engage mobile consumers. The codes have been growing beyond the boundaries of marketing, however, and have been entering the realm of mobile commerce. QR codes are becoming more common throughout the world in their association with "pop-up" stores and are being used by retailers to sell products directly to consumers. In the U.S., this practice is becoming so common that the need for guidelines and standards for the use of QR codes in mobile commerce is becoming more necessary.
 
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The tale of the QR code is a sordid story. The QR (Quick Response) code was originally the trademark name for a two-dimensional barcode system. It was invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, as a way to track vehicles as they were assembled, and to scan components at high speeds. While Denso Wave holds the patent on the technology, it granted free license on it, going so far as to publish the specs online and allowing anyone to use it.
 

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