Taco Bell Pairs with Sports Illustrated for Sexy Online Campaign

Taco Bell and Sports Illustrated have jointly launched an online ad campaign that allows users to pretend they’re photographers snapping photos of a sultry supermodel.

The campaign, created by Draftfcb Orange County, includes a new Web site called DirectDaniella.com. The site features interactive videos of 2008 Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Daniella Sarahyba presented in several Grand Cayman Island settings.

Using their mouse to control the pseudo camera, users can snap photos of Sarahyba as she talks to the camera, plays volleyball, reclines, poses, strolls, nearly gets bit by a parrot, and does other stuff in her bikini. The photos can then be downloaded or sent to friends.

“We really kind of tap into your own creativity,” said Taco Bell Corp. spokesman Will Bortz. He said the site attempts to simulate what it would be like “if you had a chance to shoot one of these swimsuit models.”

Online video ads promoting the Direct Daniella site are being run on MTV.com, VH1.com, ESPN.com and SI.com, said Bortz. It is also being promoted by a three-page ad in the just-released 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and on more than 208 million “limited edition” Taco Bell Hot Border Sauce packets. According to Taco Bell, this is the first time the sauce packets have been printed without their “iconic” blurbs of “sauce wisdom.”

Bortz said Draftfcb Orange County will keep tabs on the success of the campaign, gathering data about how many people check out the site, how long they stay, and more. The campaign will run for three months, he added.

“It’s really about getting people engaged in your brand in a fun way,” said Bortz. He noted Taco Bell’s customer base is split evenly between men and women, with most male customers falling into the 18- to 34-year-old range, prime targets of SI’s popular swimsuit issue.

Indeed, the company figures fellows in that demographic will get a kick out of fantasizing that they’ve encountered the Brazilian beauty who assumes they are her pro photographer.

“What we wanted to do is tailor some content that get’s people inside, behind the camera of the swimsuit issue,” said Bortz.

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