Marketing is often viewed as a necessary evil of doing business; a very real expense with results that can be difficult to quantify. On the other hand, marketing allows for some creative experimentation in order to get the word out about a product or service.

General Motors’ Chevrolet division has flexed its creative marketing muscle lately by using a quick response (QR) code as a way to help current Volt owners inform friends, family, or even strangers, about their Volt, answering questions about how the car works, if it needs to be plugged in, how long charging takes, etc.

Gigaom blogger Kevin Tofel, a Volt owner of about two months, writes about how while away on a trip – in his Volt of course – GM delivered to him a Volt owner’s kit.


In the package, along with a hardbound book about the Volt’s history to this point, was a QR code sticker that he placed on his new car. The “QR code sticker for my Volt helps people learn about the car without me even being present,” says Tofel.

He also says that the owner’s kit also included 10 informational cards he can hand out to the Volt curious. The Volt QR code differs from other QR codes in that instead simply directing users to a website after they’ve scanned the code with their smartphone or tablet, the Volt QR displays a video.

“What I like about it the most is that it does exactly what I do when asked about the Volt: The video explains how it works and what the capabilities are,” says Tofel. “This way, people understand if it’s the right vehicle for them.”