When Justine, a mother of three, was unpacking groceries from a recent trip to the store, she checked her receipt to make sure everything lined up. That’s when she noticed a QR code on the back in the shape of the grocer’s logo, asking her to “Scan now for coupons.”

She picked up her phone, scanned the code and got those coupons. “My next trip back, I used several of them,” she said. “Now I scan all my receipts to make sure I get the most savings.” Marketing goal achieved. QR codes have been around since the mid-1990s but faded from view until the pandemic reintroduced them as a useful touchless tool. Now they’re back in fashion like mom jeans, corduroy and chunky sneakers.

You’ve probably seen them everywhere, including in a historic 2022 Super Bowl ad featuring an ultra-simple QR code screensaver. In the first minute, the QR code took 20 million viewers to the Coinbase landing page, crashing it for more than one hour, confirmed Surojit Chatterjee, Coinbase Chief Product Officer.

That one example, on advertising’s biggest day of the year, proves QR codes have risen to the top of marketers’ go-to toolkit.