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Taco Bell, ESPN see more than 225K QR code scans for recent mobile campaign

Taco Bell and ESPN saw big success for a recent QR code-only campaign the companies ran for the Bowl Championship Series college football games.

The companies worked with Snipp on the initiative. The non-sweepstakes-based campaign launched on Dec. 20.

?In terms of the Taco Bell QR code campaign, I think there are a couple of points worth highlighting,? said Ritesh Bhavnani, chairman of Snipp Interactive, Washington. ?First, the volume of responses in the timeframe really underlines the strength of QR codes as a mobile response mechanism.

?It?s even more impressive when you consider that this wasn't a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway, which have traditionally always generated high volumes of responses ? in this case users got a video of curated content from ESPN with pre-game analysis for the BCS series,? he said.

Mobile scans
Taco Bell placed QR codes on its variety 12 pack taco boxes and accompanying soda cups.

Football fans were encouraged to scan the QR codes, which were prominently placed on the packaging.

From there, users were able to watch exclusive mobile videos of ESPN college football analyst Mark May previewing upcoming games.
Last year, Taco Bell ran a similar campaign. However, consumers were offered the option of texting a keyword to a short code and scanning a QR code.

This year, the initiative is solely QR-code focused.

QR code focused
Taco Bell is no stranger to QR codes.

In 2011, the fast food franchise used mobile bar codes on its fountain drink cups and big box packaging to offer exclusive MTV content to hungry consumers (see story).

Last year, Taco Bell proved that QR codes continued to work in the company?s favor with a mobile-enabled print campaign that linked consumers to recipes and information about its product launch (see story). 

?Taco Bell also deserves credit for putting the call-to-action front and center on their packaging,? Mr. Bhavnani said. ?The QR code was large and in the middle of the packaging, and they also had the words ?Scan The Code? in big font as well.

?Time and again we have seen that the prominence of the call-to-action has a huge impact on campaign response rates,? he said.

?Most brands shy away from making the QR code too prominent because it looks ugly and ruins the design of the collateral ? but if what they want people to respond to their ad, that?s exactly what they need to do.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York