Friday, October 26, 2007

Jingle Bells, Taco Smells, Clayton Laid an Egg

Wow.

I first tweeted about this early last night Pacific time.

Eventually, after the Twitterverse exploded on the issue, I wrote a mobile blog post about it, a little after 8:pm Pacific time.

After the game, I summed up some of the prevailing comments.

Subsequently, I followed up with Darren Rovell's look at the economics of the promotion. This eventually became a Truemor.

I figured that I was overdoing the whole thing and going off the deep end, and that the momentary outrage of the Twitterverse would be forgotten by the morning.

Shoulda listened to Jim Bakker (geddit?), because Peter Kim asked the following question within the last hour:

BusinessWeek thinks Royce Clayton is stealth marketing for Taco Bell. Do you agree?

This is what he said. This is what Stephen Baker of BusinessWeek said:

Baseball has a long history of product placements, and the free taco for everyone (following a stolen base) is just the latest. But what got me was that Royce Clayton, the Red Sox player wearing a Fox mike, "happened" to go up to the guy who stole the base and tell him about the promotion, and what his stolen base meant. This left me wondering if this back-up shortstop is being paid by Fox to promote Taco Bell, and if the Red Sox and Major League Baseball are on board with that.

BusinessWeek then linked to oddJoe:

It was bad enough when after Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base in the fourth that Joe Buck had to interrupt the game to let everyone know that Taco Bell would be giving away a free taco to everyone in America, but then the following inning FOX cut away from the action to run a tape — which looked obviously staged — of another BoSox player telling Ellsbury about the promotion.

BUT THEN they cut away AGAIN to Ken Rosenthal in the stands with the Taco Bell COO — who just so happened to be at the game — so he could do a little pitch for the fast food chain.


And if you saw the interview, you know that the Taco Bell guy was really trying to sell it. Gotta make that free airtime pay.

I should mention another tweet from Bryan Person:

Can't FOX mic someone other than Royce Clayton? He had like 1 at-bat for the Red Sox this year.

If you mic a non-player, you don't have to worry about taking the mic off.

And because this is a WORLD series, this is getting play in Canada:

What the hell was up the that not so subtle conversation between Jacoby Ellsbury and Royce Clayton during the "Sounds of the Game" segment??? That looked as natural as Mark Cuban's performance on Dancing with the [Stars]. Boo to Taco Bell and Fox for not being able to schedule a Taco Bell commercial during the 7 minute breaks between innings and resorting to one of the innovative things that Fox does.
Jay

Mr. Lewin: Fox is the anti-Christ of broadcasting. That's all you need to know. Royce ... man, I don't know what's up with that but the dude gets a lot of face time for a guy who isn't on the roster. Here's something to watch: if - when - the Red Sox win, I bet he'll take off his jacket and have a uniform top with his name on it when he goes on the field. Need to be in the celebratory pictures you know.


Well, it still may be much ado about nothing - the people who are getting the $4,000 worth of tacos may not care about the ethics of product placement. But it's had more buzz than I thought it would.

Boy, has it had more buzz. Taquitos.net (no, I am not making this up) started looking at the fine print:

As a condition of the offer, consumers agree: (a) to release, and hold harmless Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., MLB Media Holdings, Inc., MLB Media Holdings, L.P., MLB Online Services, Inc., the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Clubs, and each of their respective shareholders, employees, parents, directors, officers, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (hereinafter,"MLB Etities") and Sponsor and their affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, sales representatives, distributors and franchisees, and each of their officers, directors, employees and agents ("Promotional Parties"), from any and all claims, demands, losses, promises, causes of action, and liabilities, in this contest/promotion or any use/misuse of the prizes awarded hereunder including a Free Taco, (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Offer or any Free Taco or any advertising, marketing, promotion or publicity materials in connection therewith, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys' fees and court costs. By participating, consumers agree that all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, participant's rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. By entering, entrants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts for Irvine, California.

Wow.

[27 OCTOBER - MORE THAN TACOS.]

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Ontario Emperor said...

Perhaps Fox will take a gamble and use these people as sponsors for next year's World Series. "And now Tim McCarver will throw it to our special correspondent at the Luxor..."