Taco Bell was handing the cameras (and burritos!) over to its fans last night as hundreds flocked to Hype Hotel in Austin, Texas to film the food chain's first ever "rockumentary," featuring acclaimed stars Passion Pit, and soon-to-be stars Wildcat! Wildcat!
Through Taco Bell's social media fan base and a partnership with Twitter, the brand is supporting the creation of an experimental film, tentatively named "Feed the Beat: SXSW 2013." With the help of the agency Digitas, and under the direction of documentarian Sam Jones, the rockumentary will use footage captured and shared by fans from last night's performance. To be involved, fans were able to tweet and post images, as well as Vine videos using the hashtag #feedthe beat. The event was live-streamed using six different cameras.
"SXSW is the intersection of music, film, and interactive, and was therefore the perfect place for us to bring Feed the Beat to fans. Fans are our life-line. We understand that they love music and we wanted to be able to connect them in a way that they are able to interact. It's also about discovering new music - helping fans find bands and bands find fans. We have a good relationship with Wildcat! and we wanted to share that with our fans," says Tressie Lieberman, director of digital and social for Taco Bell.
Though Lieberman was unable to quantify any figures in terms of engagement, she acknowledged the overwhelming success of the rockumentary trailer, which has been viewed by over 500, 000 fans since its release at the end of February.
"It's a great number in such a short space of time. We're committed to our fans and we're so happy that they continue to support us," she comments.
Asked why the Hype Hotel, Lieberman explained that it is an established leader in the music space, especially in Austin, and a number of bands had been signed up that had played there in the past. "The venue was home to some of last year's top performances, including various musicians from the Feed the Beat program," she notes.
Feed the Beat began in 2005 as an organic effort to help feed up-and-coming artists on tour by giving them Taco Bell gift cards. It has since expanded with innovative ways to leverage the brand's relationships with network partners, sponsors, and its online presence.
Taco Bell's rockumentary is hoped to debut this summer.
Melanie White is news and special projects editor at ClickZ, where she has worked since July 2012. White has been with Incisive Media (ClickZ's parent company) since 2009 where she was deputy editor/ US editor for one of the financial risk management titles, International Custody and Fund Administration (later Custody Risk).
In addition, White worked on FX Week where she was a senior reporter. She has also worked and contributed to a number of other titles, including The Accountant, International Accounting Bulletin, the New York Post, Independent Magazine (UK), as well as the broadcast title Sunday Live with Adam Boulton at Sky News.
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT