Action! Cinema Debut For Taco Bell Ads

Taco Bell ad spot in theater "Benjamins" are $100 bills, but what's a "Roosevelt"? A dime, of course. While the expression may not be accepted as street slang, Taco Bell is doing its best to popularize the new coinage with a tongue-in-cheek music video appearing in National CineMedia's First Look pre-show feature in movie theaters across the country.

The one-minute spot debuted last week in theaters in 171 markets nationwide, before "Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Public Enemies." The TV version of the ad is set to debut this week.

The music video stars Bobby Edner as a hip-hop wannabe -- complete with a blinged-out convertible, sidekick and gaggle of adoring females -- who raps in praise of Taco Bell's low-price menu, with nine items priced at $0.79, $0.89, and $0.99.

With its sly self-deprecation, the minute-long spot is reminiscent of the absurd "digital shorts" created by Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and sometime-collaborator Justin Timberlake.



The pre-show video placement is accompanied in participating theaters by placement on NCM's lobby network of plasma screens, leveraging the cinema advertiser's expanded digital delivery to reach consumers at more "touch points." NCM touted research showing that 74% of moviegoers eat out before or after a movie, which should make the medium attractive to national fast-food and restaurant chains.

While other media are taking hits, movie-going has shown a big uptick during the recession, as people seek temporary emotional escapes from the discouraging economy and parents look for less-expensive alternatives to family trips. Through mid-June, box-office revenues are up 9.5% compared to 2008, while attendance has increased 6%.

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