Taco Bell, which replaced McDonald's as the official QSR of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a four-year deal inked last summer, is looking to generate some basketball/football cross-pollination.
The chain is leveraging Feb. 7's Super Bowl to get a jump on its NBA All-Star 2010 exposure later in the same week, including the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13.
The latest marketing focuses on Taco Bell's new "NBA Five Buck Box" and TV and radio ads featuring Basketball Hall-of-Famer and commentator Charles Barkley. The ads will air before, during and after the Super Bowl.
The $5 box, which comes in two varieties, includes five "Taco Bell All-Star" menu items in special, NBA-themed packaging that includes images of some of the league's biggest stars.
The first set of 15- and 30-second Barkley TV ads (launched nationally on Jan. 28) are teasers showing "Sir Charles" in his study composing a poem to the Five Buck Box.
During the Super Bowl, the brand will debut "It Rocks," a spot that features Barkley's complete musical ode and an appearance by L.A. Lakers forward Lamar Odom, according to Taco Bell. That ad will run nationally through March 7, accompanied by 60-, 45- and 30-second radio versions.
Taco Bell has also launched a viral component. Visitors to the brand's YouTube area, campaign site (tacobell.com/bigbox) and mobile site (m.tacobell.com) are being given exclusive access to a series of five-second videos featuring "Sir Charles" offering his thoughts on topics ranging from history to Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists. The videos are accompanied by the 15- and 30-second TV ads.
The NBA Five Buck Box campaign also includes in-store signage, on-air broadcast mentions and on-site activities during NBA All-Star 2010.
The campaign's mission was to deliver a "memorable product offering" within a highly entertaining context, according to Teddy Brown, executive creative director, Draftfcb Orange County, which created it in conjunction with House of Usher, Hatch and Method Studio.