Industry News | June 29, 2001

Taco Bell Manager Appears in Reality TV Show

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Taco Bell® Corp. today announced its first extensive in-program brand placement strategy in the original primetime television series "Murder in Small Town X,'' airing nationally on FOX this summer.

"Our involvement with 'Murder in Small Town X' is an organic and creative way to break through the media clutter,'' said Debbie Myers, vice president of media services, entertainment & licensing, Taco Bell. "Today's viewers are fascinated with reality programs and Taco Bell consumers are adventurous individuals who will enjoy the action and suspense of this original program,'' added Myers.

"Murder in Small Town X'' is a murder mystery series that requires players to test their wits, stamina and inventiveness as they investigate a fictional mystery set in a small New England town. The show brings 10 real people to a remote, quaint town where they attempt to identify the person responsible for a murder that takes place.

As the players set about their investigation, they are led by a real-life Southern California police detective who advises them of the parameters and rules. "The heightened anticipation created by the murder investigation among the show's viewers can be compared with the excitement our core target audience has for our brand,'' said Myers.

"'Murder in Small Town X' represents the next generation of reality television; a program that is unique to the medium,'' said Jon Nesvig, president, National Sales for Fox Broadcasting Co.

"Similarly, Taco Bell's innovative sponsorship of this show, with a marketing plan that encompasses product placement and traditional advertising, is in many ways the next generation of marketing. We are grateful for their support and look forward to our mutual success.''

To add to the element of reality, a real-life Taco Bell restaurant general manager will also be featured in the show. Taco Bell held a restaurant incentive contest and the restaurant general manager with the best customer satisfaction record won a trip to the set and an appearance on the show.

Throughout the eight one-hour episodes, Taco Bell will have an on-screen presence with in-store scenes, brand merchandising materials and the new Grilled Stuft Burrito(TM) prominently featured in a seamless manner. Key scenes will take place with the main characters inside a Taco Bell restaurant eating the food.

On Tuesday, July 24, 2001, from 8:30-10:00 p.m. (ET/PT), FOX presents a special 90-minute series premiere of "Murder in Small Town X.'' Beginning July 31, the show will air Tuesdays from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Taco Bell, a division of Tricon Global Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain serving tacos, burritos, signature Chalupas and Gorditas, nachos and other specialty items.