Friday, January 6, 2012

Mini Cooper of Chicago: My Mobile/Social Experience

I absolutely love the integration of mobile and social. With over 4 billion smart phones in the world, over 500 million Facebook users and over 100 million active users on Twitter it’s no surprise that most companies are starting to integrate mobile and social. I recently came across an interesting campaign while I was visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo for ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One.

As we were walking around I noticed a Mini Cooper sitting by itself lit up on a display. Of course I was curious. The first thing I noticed was the large QR code on the back window with a sign below it that read:

Since I work in the mobile industry my first instinct is to always scan the QR code to evaluate the user experience. I had one big problem from the get-go… the QR code wouldn’t scan. I tried for at least 5 minutes (at least it felt that long standing out there in 30 degree weather!). I think it had something to do with the lighting and the glare so I took a picture and was hoping to scan the QR code later from the image when I got home. No such luck, it still didn’t work.

This is a huge lesson in the placement of a mobile call to action; make sure to always be aware of your users holistic experience. In this case, users were going to be seeing the campaign at night with very little direct light making the QR code hard to use. The windshield reflection also didn’t help matters. The inability to scan the QR code caused a distinct break in the user experience, hence most users won’t/can’t proceed.

I absolutely loved the call to action to post your picture to the Mini of Chicago Facebook page. I’m assuming the QR code led to the Facebook page but I’ll never know for sure.
One thing I would have done differently is making the call to action a little more specific. Instead of just “post a picture”, I would have said take a picture of yourself with the Mini Cooper and post to the Mini Copper Facebook page. Users friend’s will be seeing the photo and wouldn’t you rather them see your brand associated with the photo for the contest?

Overall I think Mini Copper of Chicago was on the right track but missed a few keys details that would have made this an A+ mobile/social campaign. I posted my picture on the Mini of Chicago Facebook page the day after seeing the campaign and not surprisingly I was the first person to post. Considering the user experience is disjointed and took a lot longer than it should have, I’m not all that surprised. I only took the extra effort so I could have the entire user experience.