Taco Bell Answers Gamers' Hunger for Sony VR Headsets

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Advertising Age Player

Taco Bell knows many of its patrons are gamers eager for the next new gadget and hungry to try wacky food mashups. Its latest marketing move delivers on both fronts.

Starting Thursday, diners who buy a $5 Big Box meal at Taco Bell will get a code for a chance to win one of more than 3,300 Sony PlayStation VR headsets before they go on sale Oct. 13. The box will also now include a limited-time Cheddar Habanero Quesarito.

At Taco Bell's VR Arcade, a man gets some help putting his VR headgear on.
At Taco Bell's VR Arcade, a man gets some help putting his VR headgear on. Credit: Judann Pollack/Ad Age

Taco Bell has set up a two-day pop-up VR arcade at 79 Greene St. in New York to promote the push. The SoHo space has a bit of a club-meets-arcade vibe. One of the new Sony VR headsets, not on sale until Oct. 13, is housed under glass. Visitors can get a sense of how they will work at a handful of VR stations, where they can put on headsets to see what it is like to be in a shark tank or on a luge, for example. On the way out, they can stop by a taco truck to try the limited-time cheddar habanero quesarito.

"VR is going to be one of the hottest gift items this holiday and so it's obviously going to be hard to get and we want people to know that Taco Bell is one of the first places that you can get it," spokesman Rob Poetsch said from California, as the finishing touches were being put on the Taco Bell VR arcade in New York.

The prize does not come with either of the new Sony Playstation consoles. It includes the VR headset, camera, controllers and a $40 gift card for a game of the winner's choice.

Taco Bell is reaching out to its Facebook followers in the New York City area about the two-day pop-up arcade. It also has 30-second and 15-second TV commercials promoting the giveaway and the new quesarito flavor. The campaign includes gaming-related partners such as IGN and Twitch, Mr. Poetsch said.

This is the fourth time Taco Bell and Sony have teamed up on a promotion. Taco Bell promoted the handheld PlayStation Vita in 2012, followed by two PlayStation 4 promotions including a limited-edition gold version that was only available through Taco Bell.

Deutsch is Taco Bell's lead creative agency. Edelman, Octagon, Digitas and Spark also worked on this project.

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