Taco Bell promotes MTV VMAs with 
QR codes on meal packages

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Taco Bell's QR codes to direct consumers to site with exclusive footage on MTV VMAs
Taco Bell's QR codes to direct consumers to site with exclusive footage on MTV VMAs

The Offer: Taco Bell teamed up with MTV Networks and mobile barcode developer Scanbuy to help customers “Feed The Beat” in the six weeks leading up to the channel's “Video Music Awards” show in August. Quick response (QR) codes printed on VMA-themed packaging, designed by Draftfcb, provided access to exclusive, sneak-peak music and video content on a mobile website. A “VMAs Hook-Up” Facebook sweepstakes gave visitors who “liked” the page a chance to win tickets to the awards and to a Taco Bell-sponsored preshow event.

The Data: The campaign targeted a mostly younger demographic (the age of the typical MTV viewer is between 12 and 34). More than 7.5 million people "liked" the Facebook page. Scanbuy saw scans in the six figures after just 10 days.

The Channel: The codes appeared on Taco Bell's large fountain sodas and Big Box Remixed meal packages between late July and early September. To unlock content uploaded by MTV each week, consumers had to acquire fresh QR codes. Those without smartphones could access the content by viewing the mobile page in their browsers. 

The Creative: After scanning the QR codes, users were taken to a mobile site with never before seen or heard content featuring artists Wallpaper and Chiddy Bang, a video of performances and interviews, and an inside look at the VMA lineup. "Liking" the brand on Facebook put consumers in the running for a series of VMA-related prizes.


John Gagné is SVP and executive creative director at Proximity Canada. Gagné, who joined Proximity in 2006, leads one of the largest creative departments in Canada. He is based in Toronto. 

This "exclusive content" play from
Taco Bell and MTV feels like old news. A look at that content doesn't reveal anything I can't find on my own in seconds. The QR code on the food pack will undoubtedly garner some traffic as people sit with their meal, 
but otherwise an uninspired tactic.

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