June 9, 2011, 8:54 AM

Ford using 2-D bar codes to drive attention to 2012 Ford Focus

Consumers collect five codes to enter a contest to win awards show tickets.

Lead Photo

Consumers collect all five codes to enter a contest to attend the Internet Week awards show.

Ford Motor Co. wants consumers visiting Internet Week in New York this week to discover its newly redesigned Focus by using a smartphone to scan two-dimensional bar codes included on Ford promotional materials distributed throughout the event’s multiple locations in a program called the Ford Focus Hunt.

Internet Week is a series of workshops and seminars about Internet services and technology held in multiple venues in New York. Scanbuy Inc. is providing the 2-D bar code technology. Scanbuy is using a type of 2-D code called Quick Response, often referred to as QR codes, which appear as small squares with a design that can link to various types of online content, such as a web page, e-mail address or online video.

Each day of the event, Ford releases a new QR code. The objective is to collect all five codes, which qualifies a consumer to enter Ford’s IWNY Prize Pack that includes two tickets to the Webby Awards, which mark online achievements, a one-night hotel stay, and a chauffeured ride to the awards in a Ford Focus. Ford is displaying the codes on a wall projection, on signs and on the hood of a Focus in its booth.

A consumer downloads the ScanLife 2-D bar code reader app or another reader app to her smartphone and then hovers the phone over the code; the app automatically reads the code and links the consumer to a mobile-optimized Ford web site where she can enter her name and address for the contest.

“The intent is to give more information about that car to people walking by with their smartphones,” says Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy. The technology provider’s ScanLife technology, which handles the data associated with the codes, can provide detailed information about each scan, he says.

“We let the marketer know which phone scanned the code,” Wehrs says. “We give them the time of day, which network operator was used and the general location of the scan.”

This isn’t Scanbuy’s first tie with the automotive industry. The New York International Auto Show used Scanbuy’s technology earlier this year, Wehrs says.

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