Taco Bell Rings the Bell with Millennials

Taco Bell announced it is extending its “Feed the Beat” Indie Rock Band promotion for its late night “Fourth Meal” for a third year. My thoughts on why this is a smart promotion were mentioned in Ad Age today. Why do I think it’s smart? Well, it’s reasonable to assume after two years, they must have a pretty good idea that the promo works. How could it not? This seems to hit multiple Millennial sweet spots all at once:

1. Simple and Undemanding. The rules are simple: register for $500 worth of late night coupons and a chance to a chance to be promoted by a record producer next spring, no strings whatsoever.

2. Immediate gratification. Winners will be announced in October.

3. Social. Bands have fans. Fans like to eat, too. Winners will be selected via online vote, which will encourage the bands to activate their networks.

4. Indie Rock Bands. Music is a top passion for Millennials, as blogger Charlie Moran points out in the Ad Age article.

5. Late Night. Millennials live 24/7 lives, as the time stamping on most papers they turn into me for class attests. A “Fourth Meal” makes sense to them. As I mentioned to Emily York, the Ad Age reporter who contacted me, “it’s particularly savvy because members of that generation have round-the-clock opportunities we didn’t dream of at their age.”

Taco Bell’s marketing investment in this promotion is modest: 100 bands X $500 in late night coupons ($50K), URL for registration and voting, placement on sauce packets, PR. The return is potentially great, if only in registered band member names and voters! The PR potential is big and very well-targeted. It all seems to point to a potentially huge ROI, as well as some terrific potential for brand-differentiation. I predict we’ll see this promotion extended a fourth year.