Taco Bell readies its first 'avatarsment'

IRVINE Calif. Taco Bell will feature the three winners of its “TV Me!” talent contest in the chain’s first “avatarsment,” scheduled to air during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

The TV spot will feature the winners as avatars, the virtual representations they created for themselves on Gizmoz.com, a social-interaction website and Taco Bell’s marketing partner for the contest. Consumers created more than 17,000 clips to audition for a role in the commercial, which will promote Taco Bell’s Fourthmeal late-night dining initiative. The chain uses the term to refer to the snack time between dinner and breakfast.

The chain, which has about 5,600 U.S. units, launched the contest in July to put a twist on the popular practice of airing campaigns containing consumer-generated content, said chief marketing officer David Ovens.