Taco Bell Works to Eradicate Musician Hunger

Fast-Feeder Expands Feed the Beat Promotion, Offers Marketing for Bands

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Taco Bell Feed the Beat
Did you know that at most Taco Bell locations one can order a side of beef? I don't mean a literal half-bovine, but, if you ask nicely, you can take home a cup of the same ground chuck that goes into tacos and eat it with a spoon. I've done it. Same goes for diced tomatoes and nearly everything else on the menu.

Why am I imparting this delightful little secret? Because Taco Bell is a responsive brand who's willing to deliver what customers want and need. Even if your order even more eccentric, like, say $500 worth of burritos and tacos, which mash-up artist Greg Gillis (nee Girl Talk) purchased for his fans this summer after winning the Feed the Beat contest.

Taco Bell is now gearing up for the third iteration of its band-feeding promotion, and my colleague back in Chicago, Emily York, has all the details in her Madison and Vine piece today:
The first phase of Feed the Beat, which began last week, involves recruiting and selecting 100 bands for $500 late-night coupons and placement on FeedTheBeat.com. Each will post MP3s online, and consumers will begin voting on their favorite acts in October. Mr. Bortz said details of the "integrated marketing campaign" will be available in a few weeks.

Next spring, three bands will be chosen by online vote to record singles and to take part in a full-blown marketing campaign. That's when broadcast is expected to start, likely featuring the winning acts. However, Mr. Bortz said the three bands will have a say in how they are marketed -- and even what efforts are undertaken on their behalf.

But sauce packets are definitely on the promotional agenda. Taco Bell has offered "words of wisdom" on the back of the packets for five years, and will now add the feedthebeat.com URL to them. The chain reports that the packets reach about 208 million people each month.
We love this promotion because it's cheap, effective and Taco Bell has stepped into it gracefully. Instead of arrogantly throwing money around from the start, they've expanded the competition year after year, and, if successful, they can make it even bigger next year without seeming like another me-too music brand.

And they sorta have good taste, which doesn't hurt.

[Ad Age/Madison and Vine]
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