From Y&R Ecuador comes an effort that will hypothetically force bars to extend happy hour with the magic of QR codes. Yes, put “Budclock” on those semi-annual lists of “interesting QR code uses for marketers” that tech blogs are accustomed to run when they need a bump in monthly pageviews and tweets.

According to the Y&R camp, “Budclock” is an example of “ambient marketing,” a phrase I hear quite rarely in reference to non-traditional media buys that generally garner some sort of consumer interaction in order to work. Perhaps this jargon is more widely used overseas? In any case, “Budclock” utilizes the very American sport of binge-drinking as a way to keep bars from ending happy hour, with each purchased beer adding one minute to the weekday party.

“Budclock” was officially instituted in Ecuador on May 12, and since that time, the announce boasts that happy hour has been extended over 6000 minutes and that the campaign has “reached” over 50,000 people (44,000 of whom apparently don’t think drinking Budweiser is worth a minute of their time). Still, I would like to see this campaign experimented with in a few American urban centers, as I don’t doubt that it would be even more effective in the U.S. than it was in South America. Credits follow after the jump.

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