Marketing gurus at Sherwin-Williams have adopted the quick response bar code matrix as a tool to distinguish their premium paint lines in Brazil, and to attract technology-savy—and salary-comfortable—consumers to the brand. Sherwin-Williams is using the code on their Premium Metalatex, Supera and Clima & Tempo lines, embedding it on paint cans, brochures and banners.
“Our pursuit of satisfying and exceeding the needs of our clients is the peak of our endeavors. We always focus our efforts in the research and development of innovative products; that is our brand,” David Ivy Jr., the director of marketing for Sherwin-Williams in Brazil told the local press at the time of the recent campaign launch.
Quick response codes are not yet well known in the Brazilian consumer market, so the Sherwin-Williams launch may be perceived as an edgy trend. Sao Paulo publisher Editoras rolled out an interactive quick response advertising campaign that linked to Twitter several years ago and subsequently published a book from the responses. Similarly, female British beach volleyball stars have more recently flashed Rio de Janiero audiences with quick response codes on their bikini bottoms carrying an ad for a home-country company.
Quick response codes were initially developed by Toyota manufacturing unit Denso-Wave in 1994 to help speed parts along. They initially consisted of zig-zag oriented black and white blocks of ink some 1.25 inches square, and holding roughly eight kilobytes of information; many variations now exist in terms of color use and pattern density.
The open-standard two-dimensional codes typically carry information on an Internet Uniform Resource Locators, or URLs, which could point to a video on YouTube. Consumers gain access by photographing the code with mobile phones equipped with scanning software, including that developed by Google. The technology has had broad usage in information distribution in the United States and Europe, apart from Japan, but has been slow to catch on elsewhere. Now Microsoft, SpyderLynk and other code inventors have competing two-dimensional formats in use. Facebook is said to be experimenting with quick response codes for the purpose of embedding advertising on their pages.
Sherwin-Williams might use the codes to track inquiries by geography, by product line, or by color, among a myriad of uses, all of which can be tracked by computer and mined for consumer data. Consumers potentially could receive a customized code on a specific can for reordering the same product, including the contact information for the individual and store where the custom color was mixed.
Apart from the Sherwin-Williams lines sporting the quick response codes, other S-W lines in Brazil are Novacor, Kem Tone, Aquacryl, Colorgin, Sumaré and Euronavy. Near its headquarters in Sao Paulo, S-W manufacturers its architectural lines at Taboão da Serra. Industrial and aerosol lines are manufactured at Sumare, in Sao Paulo state, while automotive lines are produced at Sao Bernardo do Campo, also in Sao Paulo state, which is the center of the auto manufacturing industry in the country.