The WNBA's Twitter QR-Code Hoodies Are an Ambitious Combination of Branded Merch and Social Media
The WNBA season began this month, and to celebrate women across sports and highlight important social causes, the WNBA created a special edition hoodie with a QR code printed into the design.
The hoodie was a collaboration with Twitter, and when the QR code is scanned, it takes the viewer to a pre-written tweet that reads:
With this tweet, I’m standing with the WNBA and the entire W community to elevate women in sports and shine a light on the social justice causes they’re fighting for. Retweet or tweet using #WNBATwitter, and watch on WNBA Twitter Live. #CountIt.
Not “just” a hoodie.
Co-created with @Twitter, this hoodie includes a "hidden" QR code that gives the #WNBA community a direct line for sparking conversation about the game and causes they stand for. pic.twitter.com/nfIG4vjUNP
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 13, 2021
The beauty of a QR code is that it can change what it directs people to. In this case, the WNBA said that, as the season goes on, the code will direct people to different tweet copy, meaning it can change its message to fit current events and highlight other causes.
Coupled with the clean, simple design of the logo, it instantly prolongs the hoodie's lifespan and relevance, rather than celebrating one single message printed onto the shirt.
With this Tweet, I'm standing with the WNBA and the entire W community to elevate women in sports and shine a light on the social justice causes they're fighting for.
Also bring back the Sting 🐝 pic.twitter.com/6LMkpux2KJ
— Matt Wickline (@MattWickline) May 14, 2021
Other brands have integrated QR codes onto apparel to expand what the items can do. Chipotle released a shirt last year that featured a QR code shaped like its logo that directed people to voter registration resources.
QR codes are flexible in their design. As long as you have the crucial elements of it in there, you can pretty much make it look like whatever you want, like a company logo or a message. And, aside from apparel, they've helped restaurants and other businesses move away from high-touch products like menus during the pandemic, while still keeping their information up to date.
If you continually update what the QR code goes to, and match it with a design that isn’t too time-specific, you can create an evergreen product that evolves on its own. That is, as long as it actually works, unlike one McDonald's effort.