AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Is a Big Hit with a New QR Code

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Is a Big Hit with a New QR Code

The COVID-19 version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a hit. More than 20 million people tuned into the show, according to Nielsen. Even though much of it was taped because of COVID-19, the ratings were only down by a few people.

What caught my attention was a QR (Quick Response) Code that was shown on TV. The code took you to a Verizon YouTube page with a live stream from the Macy’s store in New York City. When I checked during the broadcast, nearly 500,000 were viewing the stream.

Think about that again: I used my phone to scan the QR Code on the TV that then took me to a live stream on YouTube. We’ve all seen QR Codes on printed pieces, but this was on the TV screen.

The QR Code seemed to disappear after becoming the hot new thing in digital communications distribution. Well, now it is back and more effective than ever. One reason is the speed at which smartphones read and connect with the link. Just a second or two is amazing — and it will only get faster.

The Thanksgiving parade was a big hit for NBC with kids of all ages. The QR Code resurgence will be a big hit for marketers who take advantage of this new/old technology.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.