Tap to Buy a Soldier a Beer

With all the excitement surrounding the promise of QR Codes, there’s precious little data to show they’ve been embraced by the smartphone-toting public at large.

Still, there are a few success stories out there and, not surprisingly, those are down to the nation’s smaller businesses.

Founded on Veteran’s Day 2009, 50 Back Brewing Co. in Boston has sold its 50 Back American Lager (aka “The Brew of the Brave”) with the understanding that it donates 50% of the proceeds to veteran- and active-duty-related charities.

In March, the company launched its “Buy a Soldier a Beer” program, which allowed those who scanned a QR Code (on flyers, stickers, point-of-sale displays and coasters) to…you guessed it.

Each click racks up a $1.99 charge via Text2Pay (which takes 99 cents) that appears on the user’s phone bill, and one beer is given to an active member of the military stationed in the Boston area. To date, more than 7,400 beers have been given away; more than 75,000 people have scanned the code. Though the company noticed a slight uptick in sales, it’s difficult to know just how much of that is due to the campaign.


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