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Kai Ryssdal: Consider the chip. Salty. Crunchy. Fattening. Not exactly a tough sell, yes? Thing is, there's so many different varieties on the market now, it's hard to get your brand to stand out. Enter Doritos latest marketing gimmick. A free online rock concert with your junk food. Starting today, some bags of the company's Late Night chips are going to carry a special label on the back. You flash that label in front of your webcam, and well, after that it gets kind of complicated. Here's Mitchell Hartman to explain.
MITCHELL HARTMAN: So you buy a bag of "Tacos At Midnight," or "Jalapeno Popper" Special Edition Doritos. You go to the Doritos Web site, and flash the logo on the bag of chips in front of your computer's camera.
Doritos marketing director Rudy Wilson takes it from here.
RUDY WILSON: And all you'll see is the bag and all of a sudden the bag will rip open and explode.
On your computer screen, that is. Then, punk band Blink-182 busts out with its song "The Rock Show." And if you move the bag of chips around in front of the webcam, you can get the video to do things. The technology's called "Augmented Reality."
WILSON: So if you're watching this concert, you can twist it and turn it, you can get really close and pull it back. But if you actually start pushing it up and down or moving it around, the backstage will actually start to crumble.
And if the crowd of Dorito-eaters huddled around your PC shouts loud enough, the band plays an encore.
Mark Gobe heads the firm Emotional Branding. He says this goes beyond the typical marketing gimmick.
MARK GOBE: At a time when traditional media is less powerful, they are trying to make the packaging the message. They are bringing people to a reality and an experience that is unique and can be shared.
Of course, you need the right tech stuff to make it all work. And you have to want to see Blink-182, or the rapper Big Boi, who also performs on the site. Craving some chips: that's the easy part.
I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.