Kenneth Cole ties limited-edition product launch with QR codes to drive voter registrations


September 26, 2012

Kenneth Cole is targeting a group of younger consumers by placing shoppable QR codes on a line of totes with the goal of increasing last-minute voter registrations, as well as sales.

Awearness, The Kenneth Cole Foundation has partnered with Rock the Vote on the initiative. Rock the Vote has made QR codes a staple in its marketing this year to reach young, tech-savvy consumers.

“We decided to use QR codes for this awearness campaign to empower consumers with an easy way to register to vote,” said Amy Choyne, chief marketing officer at Kenneth Cole, New York.

“By purchasing the tote our customers are able to carry the QR code with them, reaching a wider audience,” she said. “Our primary objective with this campaign is to increase voter registration, so we decided to place QR codes on window decals and store signage to allow the public to register by simply walking past our stores. We also created a mobile-friendly page so the experience is seamless and easy to use.”

Scan to vote
Kenneth Cole has designed a cross-body tote bag that features a removable pin with a QR code. The pin encourages consumers to register to vote by scanning the code with their mobile device.

When scanned, the QR code directs users to a campaign-specific mobile site where users can either buy the tote – which retails for $20 – or sign up to vote.

Consumers can buy the tote from, and from all Kenneth Cole retail and outlet stores.

Kenneth Cole claims that 100 percent of net profits of the sales will go towards awearness.

To register to vote, the site kicks consumers over to Rock the Vote’s mobile site. Users then enter their ZIP code and fill out a form with basic information such as their name, birth date and address.

Once consumers complete the form, they are emailed a document that must be mailed in to finish the voter registration process. Additionally, users can share the link via Facebook and Twitter to spread the word on registering to vote.

The campaign runs through election day, Nov. 6. After the voter registration deadline ends, the QR code will link to Rock the Vote election center content, which will include information such as what voters need to bring to the polls with them.

“Mobile and tablet usage by Kenneth Cole consumers have been on the rise for many years,” Ms. Choyne said.

“More and more we see people getting more comfortable shopping, sharing and information-gathering through these devices. As we look towards the next year, key focuses will be on optimization and targeted integrated campaigns.”

A closer look at the new Kenneth Cole tote bags

Mobile promotion
In addition to the pins, Kenneth Cole is also using the mobile bar codes on in-store windows and signs to encourage voter registrations.

The Rock the Vote bag is also prominently featured on awearness’ mobile and desktop sites.

The new partnership is the latest in a string of QR code initiatives from Rock the Vote this election year.

Most recently, the nonprofit worked with PromoJam on a massive grassroots movement that encouraged consumers to vote by putting QR codes on anything (see story).

Additionally, QR codes were rolled out on a new line of t-shirts from Rock the Vote and PromoJam earlier this year (see story).

“For us, we use any medium that young people interact with – this is one more opportunity to reach young people and get them registered,” said Chrissy Faesen, vice president of marketing and communications at Rock the Vote, Washington.

“A QR code is the easiest way to get people registered to vote while they are shopping,” she said.