Branded content is all the rage, and if you’ve been following Taco Bell recently then you’ve noticed that they’ve been diving deeper and deeper into the world of online video. Since 2006, the fast food chain has been sponsoring bands with their “Feed the Beat” program. In most cases, sponsored bands receive free tacos while others are asked to perform at Taco Bell sponsored shows.
In a recent round of Feed the Beat launched back in August, Taco Bell put on a show with bands Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat!, which resulted in a full length music documentary, “Hello Everywhere.” Now the remarkable thing about “Hello Everywhere” is the fact that Taco Bell clearly put a lot of time (and money) into this film, yet Taco Bell — the brand — is relatively absent throughout.
Of course Taco Bell is promoting “Hello Everywhere” on just about every social media platform possible, but as for in-video branding, the company was extremely restrained. This ties back into the concept, as Chipotle displayed with recent branded video “The Scarecrow,” of playing to your audiences’ likes and dislikes perfectly.
Marketing experts and advertising firms globally have figured out that millennials hate in-your-face branding. Want to lose your 13–35 audience? Slap a logo on everything that moves and you’ve got a surefire way of doing so.
Clearly, Taco Bell got the message. In the over fifty-minute music documentary, Taco Bell’s logo appears fewer than three times. It’s a calculated decision to give their young audience something they love — in this case, the hippest of music — while remaining in the shadows as a company. It’s a new age for companies as online video quickly becomes the go-to source for audience engagement. Luckily for Taco Bell, they seem to have it figured out.