QR codes help commuters find dinnertime recipes

Allrecipes.com placed ads with QR codes in a downtown Los Angeles transit station for riders to find a recipe for that night’s meal.

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Anyone who has ever been responsible for making family dinners has had what Esmee Williams, vice president of brand marketing for Allrecipes.com, calls “that four o’clock panic.”

“It’s really common for them to think, what the heck am I going to make for dinner?” she says.

To try to solve that problem, Allrecipes started up its first-ever advertising campaign May 11 in the 7th Street Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles. The brand put up ads with QR codes that people could scan with their phones to get a recipe for that night.

In the few weeks it’s been running, the campaign’s been a success, Williams says, and Allrecipes is ready to bring the codes to more stations, bus stops and buses around the United States.

Sensing the need

Before now, Allrecipes never really needed to do too much advertising over its 15-year history, Williams says.

“All of our growth has happened organically through word-of-mouth,” she says. “A lot of our traffic comes from search. Traditionally, we’ve never paid for any sort of advertising. It just wasn’t something we felt the need to do.”

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