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Taco Bell, Sony partner for mobile sweepstakes

Taco Bell is partnering with Sony to reward users who play a mobile game with a chance to win a new PlayStation device.

The mobile sweepstakes is part of a bigger marketing initiative from Taco Bell’s new “Unlock the box” campaign to promote select items from the fast food chain as well as the release of Sony’s new PlayStation Vita device. The campaign begins Jan. 26 and will run until March at Taco Bell locations.

“Gaming is incredibly popular among our customers, so together with Sony, we are bringing a game-changing technology to fans before it launches and allowing these fans to have fun while winning,” said Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, digital lead of brand experience at Taco Bell, Irvine, CA.

Hungry gamers
The campaign involves several digital initiatives that surround the Feb. 22 launch of the PlayStation Vita.

To enter to win the contest via mobile, users can either play a mobile game or text in product codes found on themed Taco Bell products.

The text-in codes will be found on Taco Bell’s $5 Buck Box, which includes a taco, burrito, fountain drink and a cheesy gordita crunch.

To cater to Sony’s core demographic of gamers, users can also play a game inside Taco Bell’s mobile app. The app is slated to be released Jan. 26 and will be available for both iPhone and Android users.

Consumers that play a game inside the app can then fill out a contact form to be entered into the sweepstakes.

Taco Bell and Sony claim that they will be giving away one PlayStation Vita game every 15 minutes during the campaign.

The campaign also includes a Web component. When the campaign launches, users can go to the campaign’s microsite – and enter to win the Taco Bell codes.

Consumers will also be able to upload a photo or video that explains why they want to win a PlayStation Vita.

Mobile incentive
According to Sony, Taco Bell’s consumers who enjoy gaming make a natural fit for the campaign.

By rewarding gamers with the chance to win a long-awaited Playstation device, the campaign capitalizes on giving consumers a mobile incentive and is an example of how a campaign can lure consumers to consistently engage with a marketing initiative via mobile.

Mobile gaming is slowly being incorporated by more brands as the center of multichannel campaigns such as the Taco Bell promotion.

Most recently, Pepsi’s Brisk brand partnered with film studio Lucasfilms for a cross-platform campaign leading up to the release of  the 3D movie “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. (see story). The campaign centers around a mobile game app.

Additionally, the campaign is a good use of branding by both companies because of the on-product placement from Taco Bell and the draw of Sony as the manufacturer of PlayStation.

“Mobile is a priority for Taco Bell as we know that it is an important aspect to our consumers’ daily lives, especially when making decisions about where to eat,” Ms. Zarate-Bayani said.

“Our overall digital strategy involves engaging with our consumers in relevant ways, and leveraging new and exciting technology through mobile provides these experiences to our fans on a daily basis,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York