Chipotle's New Branded T-shirt Has a Logo-Shaped QR Code That Helps Register Voters
QR codes have been around for a while, but they seem to have exploded in use during the pandemic. Suddenly, everyone is now an expert in scanning QR codes to access restaurant menus. And, thanks to one popular quick-service restaurant chain, they’re now experts in voter registration.
Chipotle released a T-shirt that had a QR code printed on it in the shape of the restaurant’s pepper logo. When scanned, it took people to a voter registration website.
— taryn skye (@tskyegangi) September 30, 2020
The “Chi-Vote-Le” shirt is already almost sold out, possibly due to the item’s relatively low cost—$11.03, in reference to election day. According to Mobile Marketer, Chipotle says it will donate proceeds from the shirt to Democracy Works.
Mobile Marketer’s Robert Williams made a good point about the pepper-shaped QR code, too:
The scannable codes had seen fading interest among marketers because of creative restrictions with the format and a lack of technical standards. However, Chipotle's QR code is in the shape of a chipotle pepper, matching its logo, which is one sign that designers now have greater flexibility in incorporating them into their branding.
Incorporating the QR code into a branding identity without just plopping in a black and white square opens new doors for design opportunities. Especially if a company has an instantly recognizable logo, like Chipotle, Apple or McDonald’s, where even if it’s filled in with the QR code design, fans instantly know what they’re looking at, and it doesn’t take away from the overall design.
Chipotle has been on the forefront of marketing toward millennials and expanding what’s possible for a fast food company to do when it comes to marketing. Its merchandise store is more robust than a lot of bona fide fashion houses, and it’s done a good job of implementing eco-friendly materials into product lines, like using avocado pits to dye shirts.
Is a T-shirt from a favorite burrito spot really going to be what entices a young person to exercise their right to vote for the first time? You know, maybe it would. It's worth a try!