Taco Bell marketing Doritos taco shells with QR, mobile, augmented reality

Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos features a taco shell made from the popular Frito Lay chip in a nacho cheese flavor - how could America resist? 

For the most part, it hasn't.

Test-marketed in three cities - Bakersfield and Fresno, California, as well as Toledo, Ohio - one out of every three purchases at stores were the Locos Tacos, QSR Web reports.

"It was an idea so simple and brilliant ... a flavor pairing just waiting to happen," Greg Creed, CEO of Taco Bell, told the news source.

According to Mobile Marketer, the company has been vigorous in its marketing campaigns to get the word out about the new product. For example, it's utilizing QR codes, mobile marketing and even augmented reality.

The QR codes tied music performances from annual film and music festival SXSW in Austin, Texas, to the brand. Codes with the call to action "Celebrate Awesomeness, Scan this code" were placed on Locos Tacos packaging and, when scanned into smartphones, featured exclusive content from artists who would be performing at the event. The codes changed each week to feature a video highlighting a different artist, helping to "drive repeat activity," said Mike Wehrs, president of New York-based Scanbuy, as quoted by Mobile Marketer.

What's more, Taco Bell teamed with Pandora to place mobile ads reading "Taco Bell on the inside. Doritos on the outside," with the hashtag #DoritosLocosTacos. When consumers click on the mobile ad, they are redirected to a mobile landing page where they can get mentioned on social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, the media outlet explains.

Lastly, utilizing augmented reality technology, Taco Bell let users hold their smartphones up to a Locos Tacos box or soda cup to view interactive features.

"It's kind of like the brand has its mojo back," said Brian Niccol, Taco Bell's chief marketing and innovation officer, as quoted by QSR Web. "We're doing what we really do best, which is first innovation."

Locos Tacos are currently only available in Nacho Cheese flavor, but the company plans to introduce a Cool Ranch version before the end of 2012. "With the wide range of Doritos flavors available, the possibilities for this product platform are endless," added Creed, who told the news source that customers have already begun making requests for future flavors.