Food frenzy takes on a new meaning this week as fans of Taco Bell race to discover the winning ‘Everlasting Dollars’ that would grant them free eats for life at the popular eatery. In an effort to promote the roll-out of the company’s “Dollar Cravings” food menu, the taco giant began releasing 11 specially marked dollar bills in select cities nationwide on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The announcement set off a nationwide scavenger hunt as people race to be the first to find one of the prizes and claim their lifetime supply of Taco Bell food.
The idea is that the chain’s messengers will release one dollar bill per day and make a playful video announcement of the city and the serial number to look for. At the “Everlasting Dollar” website, hopeful scavengers can keep track of where the bills are released and view the serial numbers to check against the supply of dollar bills in their wallets.
The campaign started in Los Angeles and so far has made stops in Chicago, Nashville and Detroit. Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, Seattle, New York, Miami, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas are on the itinerary for the next week, where taco fans anticipate their chance to win the $10,000 gift card that amounts to an average family’s expenditure at Taco Bell of $216 per year for 46 years.
Taco Bell’s digital marketing and social media guru, Nick Tran, explains that the 11 dollars are in honor of the 11 menu items on their recent release of a “Dollar Cravings Menu,” all of which could be purchased with the winning dollar. He is not privy to the precise location of the dollars in each city, but none will be released at a Taco Bell restaurant, as they did not want to require customers to make a purchase at their locations in order to win.
At the rate money travels, there is, of course, no guarantee that the bill carrying the serial number chosen will remain in the same location for long. Therefore, it will behoove customers to check each dollar carefully for the winning combination before the contest deadline at 11:59 p.m. PST on Oct. 21, 2014.
According to USA Today, the odds of winning are astronomical – only about one in 2.4 billion. Nevertheless, Tran’s team is promoting the contest through social media on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. “Share” buttons on the “Everlasting Dollars” website encourage visitors to help increase campaign visibility by sharing with their own Friends and Followers to create anticipation and excitement as viewers wait anxiously for announcement of the first winner. Tran plans to measure the success of the marketing campaign through the analytics on the social media buzz that surrounds the drama and excitement of the scavenger hunt.
The frenzy for free food can only be a boon for the brand as company marketing strategists watch fans race to discover the winning numbers, hoping to be the first lucky winner that unlocks the secret of the magic dollar bills. Like Charlie Bucket and company in Willy Wonka’s factory, people in the 11 cities are eager to gain access to all-you-can-eat riches on the Taco Bell food menu.
by Tamara Christine Van Hooser