Kentucky Derby put QR code to work with its Pegasus pins


Marketers are starting to talk a lot about QR (Quick Response) codes, and on a visit to Louisville, Ky. for Kentucky Derby week, I ran across a very innovative QR use.

I’m seeing more QR codes starting to appear on everything from direct-response cards to magazine ads to newspaper stories, but the Kentucky Derby Festival organizers used a QR code to get Derby visitors to register their Pegasus pins, which gives attendees admission to Derby events.

The Pegasus pins themselves have become collector items, right alongside each year’s new Kentucky Derby mint julip glass. Some of the earliest pins from the early ’70s now sell for hundreds of dollars. I know because several years ago I sold a 1973 pin from the year that I worked at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce for $500.

On each Pegasus pin package you’d find a QR code. By using a scanner on your smartphone (I use the i-nigma reader on my iPhone), you were taken directly to the web site

From there, you could register your pin, allowing you to play some simple contests from sponsors to win different coupons. Sponsors included Kroger’s, Dairy Queen, Joe’s Crab Shack and others.

The key thing to think about with QR codes is once you do get a user to interact with you, what are you doing then? That’s why I liked the site. Each Pegasus pin package came with a scratch-off code that you could register to see if you were an “instant” winner. This year the pins, which sell for $4 each, came in five different colors, getting collectors to try and find each different one.

A QR code campaign needs to do more than just take the user to a web site. They’re great for a special contest or linking to a special product promotion video. But keep it fun … you’ve succeeded in getting someone to scan the code, now you’ve got to deliver something to them.

Categories : Business, Marketing, Web/Tech

Leave a Reply

What is 8 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)