Amazon Prime QR code commercials

Amazon Prime’s first “Black Friday” football game looked and felt remarkably like a ‘Thursday Night Football’ game.

Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit were in the booth, and the broadcast featured the graphics and touches fans have come to expect on TNF — with one huge exception.

Many commercials during the broadcast featured QR codes, which directed viewers to various Amazon shopping pages. While a few viewers found the so-called “shoppable ads” intrusive, the overwhelming majority found them useful and interesting (certainly more interesting than the Miami Dolphins’ 34-13 blowout of the New York Jets).

And marketing-savvy viewers predicted QR codes embedded in commercials are a glimpse at the future of broadcasting for live events.


The QR codes are a seemingly inevitable marketing ploy that makes one wonder why marketing giant Amazon, or another network, had not already rolled these out before (they have been used on a limited basis in other sports broadcasts, but never to this extent).

Viewer Andy Smith noted he watched the game with four women ranging in age from their teens to age 68, and everyone spent the game scanning QR codes to check out deals.

Other fans spent the game checking out the functionality of the ads.

As noted, the vast majority of viewers liked the codes and the ability to shop while watching the game, but some weren’t so keen on the new format. One fan labeled the QR codes the “mark of the beast.”

Like it or not, “shoppable ads” and QR codes are an inevitable part of the future of live sports broadcasts.

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.