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New York -- Taco Bell is aiming to scare up some customer interest with a taco giveaway on Halloween night. The Yum! Brands-owned restaurant chain announced today that Taco Bell customers who visit a participating restaurant after 6 p.m. on October 31, which is also the third game of the World Series, will receive one free Black Jack Taco.
The new taco is a limited-time addition to Taco Bell's "79-89-99 Why Pay More Value Menu." It features a black-colored crunchy shell filled with ground beef and topped with a spicy Pepper Jack sauce. The item retails for a suggested price of 89 cents.
According to Taco Bell spokesperson Will Bortz, this will be the first year Taco Bell has done a Halloween-themed MLB promotion, and the third year in row that Taco Bell has tied in on a free taco giveaway with baseball. "What's different this year is that Halloween for us is kind of a fun holiday that ironically falls on game three of the World Series. There actually is a nice connection with both of those things."
Bortz said the promo is consistent with the chain's history of "Think Outside the Bun" promotions with baseball, such as the company's "Steal a base, steal a taco" giveaway that ran each of the past two years. Customers were twice awarded a free taco when a player stole a base. (In 2007, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Socks stole a base in game two and Jason Bartlett of the Tampa Bay Rays stole a base in 2008.)
To promote the Black Jack giveaway, Taco Bell is airing 15-second ad spots, which were created by marketing agency Draftfcb, through Halloween.
"Taco Bell is a fun brand," said Bortz. "Doing things like this, especially when it's tied into something like Halloween and celebrating the World Series really gives people an understanding that we like to have fun out there."
Taco Bell has been trying lots of new tricks to extend marketing reach this year, including its first cinema ad push and a new multi-year deal as the official fast food sponsor of the NBA.
Taco Bell spent $168 million on media for the first eight months of the year, per The Nielsen Company. Last year it spent $253 million.
-- Nielsen Business Media