Taco Bell, Sony Partner for PlayStation 4 Giveaway Blitz

Promotion Comes as Rival Game Consoles Launch Ahead of Holidays

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At least one of Taco Bell's biggest marketing pushes of the year won't be for one of its Doritos Locos Tacos -- it will be for Sony's Playstation 4, just as the game-console battle heats up.

The chain is partnering with Sony Computer Entertainment for a six-week promotion, "Play the future first," for the upcoming PlayStation 4 console that will be available Nov. 15. The campaign launches Sept. 26 and will run through Nov. 10. Created by Interpublic's Deutsch, it will include TV, radio, digital, social and in-store marketing. The PlayStation 4 will retail for around $399.

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"We strive to give our customers extraordinary opportunities that generate excitement, and one of the ways we do this is through innovative and complimentary partnerships," said Chris Brandt, CMO at Taco Bell. "Our fans love gaming and with brands like Sony PlayStation, whose fans enjoy Taco Bell, we can help them Live Más -- and play más -- through great food and unique experiences."

Consumers can expect that PlayStation 4 and rival Microsoft's Xbox One -- also coming out in November -- will launch significant marketing blitzes this fall, especially since they're coming out the same month, on the verge of the holiday season. It's been eight years since Microsoft launched its 360 console, and seven years since Sony launched the PlayStation 3. Sony declined to comment on what additional marketing will surround the PlayStation 4.

It's not unusual for console marketers to partner with other marketers, and both Microsoft and Sony have locked in partnerships for the launches of their new consoles. In August, PepsiCo's Doritos and Mountain Dew brands announced a partnership with Xbox One. The promotion is similar to the Taco Bell-PlayStation promotion in that codes will appear on specially marked Doritos and Mountain Dew packages. The Microsoft codes will be used as currency in online auctions for Xbox One consoles beginning on Nov. 5.

Taco Bell's in-store marketing for the PlayStation 4 promotion
Taco Bell's in-store marketing for the PlayStation 4 promotion

The Taco Bell-Sony promotion is connected to Taco Bell's $5 Buck Boxes and Big Boxes, which will be branded with PlayStation 4 graphics and will provide a code for consumers to text in for a shot at winning a prize pack that includes the console, a new game called Knack and a one-year membership to PlayStation Plus. A PlayStation 4 will be given away roughly every 15 minutes throughout the six-week marketing window -- that's about 4,032 PlayStation 4 consoles that will be given away.

Sony and Taco Bell worked together for a promotion last year for Sony's PlayStation Vita, its handheld console. But Taco Bell said that this year's promotion kicks off a multi-year partnership between the two. A spokesman for Taco Bell declined to provide detail beyond that the companies will be partnering for "future promotions and content-related partnerships."

"Following the positive response from the gaming community for the PS Vita campaign last year, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Taco Bell to tap into the excitement as we prepare to launch PS4 on November 15," said Guy Longworth, senior VP- brand marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, in a statement. "PlayStation and Taco Bell both have some of the most loyal fans in the world, and this promotion rewards them by providing an extraordinary opportunity to get their hands on a PS4 before it hits stores."

Other major marketing pushes for Taco Bell this year indclude the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, and the push for its Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos.

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