By Barry Janoff
May 21, 2012: Taco Bell is swinging for the fences with Major League Baseball and Sony to support the launch of its Beefy Nacho Burrito and the companion $5 Big Hitter Box on May 23.
The Mexican-food fast-feeder, which has been an MLB partner since 2004, will feature Adrian Gonzalez, All-Star first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, in multi-media advertising and activation.
Marketing will be anchored by a TV spot, Internet such as Facebook and Twitter and in-store materials including signage, cups and the $5 Buck Big Hitter Box (which includes a Beefy Nacho Burrito, Burrito Supreme, Crunchy Taco and a medium drink).
Taco Bell's activation also features an "Unlock the Box" tie-in with Sony featuring an exclusive "Home Run Derby" game built from PlayStation’s MLB The Show 2012.
The Home Run Derby game will be available via the Taco Bell app for iPhone and Android. But when customers buy and scan the $5 Buck Big Hitter Box using the app, they will get to play as Gonzalez. Scanning the cup will also unlock special features, according to Taco Bell.
In the Beefy Burrito Nacho spot, which was filmed at Angles Stadium in California, a player hits a home run, and the camera tracks the flight of the ball to two fans in the outfield seats. Both guys are loaded down with nachos and appear unable to catch the home run heading toward them. But one guy's handful of nachos turn into one much larger Beefy Burrito Nacho and he has a free hand to catch the souvenir.
Earlier this year, Gonzalez was featured in a Taco Bell "Unlock the Box" TV spot and promotion that offered PlayStation's Vita as a prize.
The Home Run Derby Online enables users to compete with other players on PlayStation Network (PSN). People can compete against one or seven others online (2-8 players simultaneously) with all participants being able to see and swing at pitches at the same time while watching each hit.
Taco Bell, currently in the midst of its "Live Mas" campaign, will also have a presence at the MLB Fan Cave in New York this week to coincided with the unveiling of the Beefy Nacho Burrito and $5 Big Hitter Box. The box will be available through July 4.
The national chain will sponsor Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 8) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, site of MLB's All-Star Game on July 10, featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.