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Taco Bell debuts fifth 'Feed the Beat' lineup

Taco Bell unveiled the lineup for its fifth annual Feed the Beat promotion Tuesday.

The 100 established and emerging musicians and bands included in the program were selected from the highest number of applications the chain ever received, the company said. Each artist will collect $500 in Taco Bell Bucks while on tour.

In addition to money to be applied toward dining at the country’s largest quick-service Mexican chain, bands also will receive national exposure on Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat website as well as through the brand’s many sponsorships and marketing opportunities.

Earlier this year at the MTV Video Music Awards, the brand showcased Feed the Beat artist Travie McCoy as he performed his hit song “Billionaire” on stage. Taco Bell cited research from Nielsen that found more than 11 million viewers watched that performance.

Another Feed the Beat band, Never Shout Never, opened for a Taco Bell-sponsored concert by Jason Derulo.

Feed the Beat has a large presence on Facebook and Twitter, where Taco Bell hopes to put relevant musical content before its customers while providing support to performers across the country.

“The beauty about Feed the Beat is that the bands lead the way for the program — they tell us what they want, and we are more than happy to supply it,” said David Ovens, chief marketing officer for Taco Bell. “We admire all of the Feed the Beat bands and are especially excited to see those like Never Shout Never go from an up-and-coming artist when he joined Feed the Beat in 2008 to a headliner on the 2010 mtvU VMA Tour.”

Taco Bell offers news, tour updates and exclusive interviews with participating bands on its Feed the Beat website.

Other foodservice brands have seen the value in partnering with musicians and record labels to get their products and messaging in front of music-loving consumers.

• Denny’s, which courts the late-night crowd with an “Allnighter” menu like Taco Bell does with its “Fourthmeal” advertising, has marketed for years its “Rock Star” menu, with items created by Katy Perry, Good Charlotte and other artists.

• Bruegger’s Bagels recently rolled out a “Music Showcase” application for Facebook, through which fans of the brand have access to exclusive downloads from emerging performers.

• Last year, certain McDonald’s markets promoted the chain’s late-night business by airing music videos online.

Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands Inc., has nearly 5,600 restaurants in the United States.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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