Taco Bell’s #FeedTheBeat Dances Into SXSW

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If there’s a hot social media management trend circulating amongst brands of all sizes, chances are Taco Bell did it first. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Taco Bell has darn near reinvented social media marketing, so leave it to “The Bell” to create a Twitter-based rock and roll marketing frenzy from Austin’s South by Southwest.

Taco Bell commissioned documentary filmmaker Sam Jones to film an exclusive concert from indie darlings Passion Pit as part of its Feed the Beat program. The program literally feeds starving musical acts by giving them $500 in Taco Bell gift cards along with opportunities to be featured in Taco Bell advertising and branded events. Past Feed the Beat artists include fun., Young The Giant, Walk The Moon, Andrew W.K., Gym Class Heroes, Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit, Portugal, The Man, Best Coast and Ra Ra Riot.

As the Taco Bell website puts it, “Touring bands and musicians can relate to eating on the road, and Taco Bell wants to help by picking up their post-show late-night dinner tabs. We know that late nights are even better with great food and great music.”

For Passion Pit fans who couldn’t make the trek to Austin, Taco Bell streamed the concert live on FeedTheBeat.com. The concert was made even more dynamic thanks to a camera-switching app which featured several roaming and stationary cameras that viewers could click through. In addition to the musical footage, the site featured fan created Instagrams, Tweets, Vine videos and Twitpics. Taco Bell is also calling on social media followers to capture acts from SXSW and post them on the Feed The Beat website. The website, along with Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat Twitter account, is engaging music fans in discussions about favorite bands, best venues and interview questions for featured bands. To add a little big screen synergy to the event, Taco Bell plans on releasing the documentary of SXSW this summer.

Branded documentaries that bypass the usual channels have been a hot, online video creation trend for a few years now. Taco Bell is taking it a step further however by adding a distinctly young and interactive twist which relies on fan-created content.

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