Earlier this year Taco Bell, on a few occasions, found itself in the middle of a few PR nightmares. First there was the E.coli breakout in the northeast, and less than three months later there was the infamous rodent video that popped up showing images of rats running around a Manhattan Taco Bell as if it were their own private cafeteria.
But during one of the game’s at this year’s rather boring World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies, Taco Bell and its “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion was the talk of the night. Not only were the game’s announcers talking about the promotion, but at one point Fox cut to the Red Sox dugout where two players were candidly discussing the particulars of the promotion during the game.
The promotion: after the first stolen base of the series, consumers could walk into any of the 5,800 participating Taco Bells on a designated date and ask for a free taco. Jacoby Ellsbury, who just happened to be one of the players Fox caught discussing the promotion in the dugout, stole the first base in the second game of the series.
Ellsbury also made an appearance at a Boston-area Taco Bell to sign autographs the day of the free taco giveaway. Taco Bell has been running World Series promotions since 2002. Rob Poetsch, director of PR for Taco Bell, said “We’re giving away millions and millions of tacos.”