Industry News | March 13, 2002

Taco Bell Launches New Club Chalupa by Rewarding Fans

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Combining Mexican-inspired flavors with classic "club'' ingredients, Taco Bell debuted the Club Chalupa at participating stores nationwide for $1.99. The introduction of the product coincides with the company's new "outside the bun'' marketing initiative called the "Plug Club,'' which offers Taco Bell lovers across America an opportunity to earn money through April 15.

A fresh choice for burger-bored Americans, Club Chalupa satisfies the bacon lover's appetite with lively flavor. The product features marinated all-white meat chicken and real smoked bacon surrounded in a crispy, flaky Chalupa shell. The Club Chalupa is topped off with a creamy sauce, lettuce, a three-cheese blend, and tomatoes.

The new item kicks off in-stores with the launch of the Plug Club, a marketing effort that challenges Americans to seek media plugs for Taco Bell in order to earn cold hard cash. Through April 15, if fans' "outside the bun'' thinking gets them on the news or in a newspaper article where they plug Club Chalupa—such as painting a Club Chalupa on their chest during a big game—then Taco Bell will give them $500. Plug Club media stars must submit their contact information, along with photo identification and VHS tape or newspaper clipping for review to Taco Bell "Plug Club,'' c/o DCW, 8730 Sunset Boulevard, 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069. For specific Plug Club terms and Cconditions, please visit www.tacobell.com.

"Taco Bell is living our new brand strategy 'Think Outside the Bun' in everything we do, including our product marketing,'' said Greg Creed, Taco Bell's chief marketing officer. This is a perfect time for us to launch the Plug Club, getting our fans to become marketers for their favorite food and make some money in the process.''

Separately, Taco Bell announced it has purchased several spots during March Madness. Two 30-second commercials, produced by Foote, Cone & Belding San Francisco (FCB), promoting Club Chalupa will air until mid-April. In line with its fun "Think Outside the Bun'' campaign, the first Taco Bell Club Chalupa television spot, "Rules of the Table,'' begins with a well-dressed man providing tips on how to be a "player'' as a group of Gen X'ers play cards in the background. He informs the audience that the most important rule of the game is to "raise the stakes'' with the best combination—one of bacon and chicken from the Club Chalupa. The second spot, titled "King of Clover,'' features the stylish man from the first ad sitting at a table with the same group, providing them with "gambling'' tips as they play cards. The man instructs the players to show their hand and reveals that the unbeatable pair can only be found in the Club Chalupa—clearly the "King of Clubs.''