Taco Bell uses PR push for new exclusive beverage

Taco Bell is pushing its exclusive new beverage, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, with a PR campaign through the beginning of October, designed to get its customers to consume more soft drinks.

Taco Bell is pushing its exclusive new beverage, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, with a PR campaign through the beginning of October, designed to get its customers to consume more soft drinks.

The fast food restaurant tends to sell less beverages than its rivals because its customers tend to order more a la carte than meals, according to Laurie Schalow, director of PR for Taco Bell.

The company approached its beverage partner and former owner, Pepsi, to develop a Taco Bell-only beverage that fit the menu items. Baha Blast became available in Taco Bell restaurants on July 29th.

"Just like Cabernet [Sauvignon] goes with steak, it's designed specifically for Mexican food," Schalow said of the tropical lime flavored soda.

The company said its doing media outreach to its usual suspects in the general interest media, but, for the first time, included beverage trade magazines. Taco Bell's AOR, Cohn & Wolfe, is helping the company with the pitch, Schalow said.

It is also engaging in extensive sampling events at its 5,400 restaurants and a number of concerts and festivals, including the Warped Tour, Projekt Revolution, Rolling Stone private concert series, and the MTV Video Music Awards' after party. Marketing firm OnPoint will help with its event outreach. The company will follow up with radio promotion and merchandise giveaways on air.

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