November 9, 2011, 3:09 PM

A tasty promotion nets more than 420,000 QR code scans

The Taco Bell/MTV offer tops the charts for campaigns run by Scanbuy.

Lead Photo

Globally, consumers scan bar codes in 128 this year, a 66% increase from the 77 countries in 2010.

What do 70,000, Taco Bell and MTV have in common? 70,000 is the number of times each week over a six-week period this summer consumers scanned a two-dimensional bar code on the side of a Taco Bell product to get exclusive MTV content.

Newly released figures from Scanbuy show that during a six-week period this summer consumers who bought a large drink or meal at Taco Bell scanned a two-dimensional bar code on the items 427,994 times, making the Taco Bell/MTV promotion the biggest single campaign this year for Scanbuy Inc., the company that provided the codes. In comparison, the largest single campaign in 2010 resulted in only 65,591 scans, says Scanbuy, which offers the ScanLife 2-D bar code scanning app.

The Taco Bell/MTV Big Box Remix promotion used Quick Response codes, a type of 2-D bar code that enables smartphone users with a QR code reader app to point their cameras at the code and be automatically linked to mobile content. In this instance, the code opened a web site where consumers could view MTV clips.

“With the QR code we were able to bring a unique and engaging experience to our Big Box customers via access to exclusive MTV content,” says Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, Taco Bell digital marketing lead. The QR code acted as a digital portal, she says.

The Taco Bell/MTV promotion is just one example of a Scanbuy QR code campaign this year. As of Sept. 30, Scanbuy says consumers use the ScanLife app to scan 20 million codes, a 440% increase from the 3.7 million scans during the first nine months of 2010. These scans include Scanbuy campaigns as well as any number of other QR code scans performed by ScanLife users.

Also revealing is a shift in the type of products that consumers scan. In 2010 grocery items comprised 14% of scans, but so far in 2011 account for 40%. Scanbuy says this illustrates how consumers have adopted scanning as part of their daily shopping behavior.

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