Chino Latino's new QR codes on billboards, cocktail flags, and toilet stalls
Parasole prides itself on pushing the envelope when it comes to advertising, and its latest Chino Latino campaign is definitely apt to raise some eyebrows...and smart phones. The marketing team, led by Kip Clayton, cooked up a plan that uses QR code technology to transmit Chino Latino deals, ads, and cheeky video.
Here's how it works--and what you'll see:
The Lake Street billboard
The restaurant, whose motto is "Street food from the hot zones," now has a QR (quick response) code on a billboard above Lake Street just east of Hennepin Avenue. The codes are also all over Chino Latino--from the entrance,
to the dining room,
to, yes, the restrooms.
To see what deal each symbol is hiding, users need to scan the code with their smart phones. Parasole recommends the reader app NeoReader, which is free to download. When you are ready to scan, it should look like this:
Touch the screen--as it says--and you will take a picture of the QR code. A small square comes up as you are focusing on the QR. Fit the code in the square and your phone may buzz as it recognizes it. Or it will have an error message if it can't read it. Ours had trouble in low light, but otherwise we had no trouble "finding" the secret link. Click through to the associated web page.
Here's the first link--which is also on the Chino Latino website under the Lord of the Hot Zones icon. A free order of Habanero Hell Poppers is offered to anyone who shows their Chino Latino server the web page on their smart phone until January 29.
Scroll down and you'll see the first deal.
But don't stop there. See the arrow on the Lord of the Hot Zones? Press on that and you'll go to the first animated YouTube bit of the campaign, which is also available here. It tells how Chef Tuan Nguyen rose to his station and involves a rooster and a so-hot-it's-psychedelic habanero. Even a woman in a bikini makes a brief appearance. Here's a still from the video -- but for a peek at the rest, you'll have to download it yourself.
During a recent visit to CL, our bartender told us (as does the website) that a new deal was due to arrive yesterday, January 17. According to him, it's a drink special that will appeal to those who couldn't stomach the hot hot hot habanero poppers. So stay tuned--Parasole promises deals, videos, and new QRs through March.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.