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Simply one of the widespread shopper manufacturers within the United States, Taco Bell is a reputation virtually each American is aware of for its distinctive gastronomic choices. “Taco Bell is exclusive within the sense that there’s not likely a significant competitor to it in that house,” Georgia State College Franchise Entrepreneurship Professor Benjamin Lawrence mentioned in our function article in regards to the firm topping the 2020 Franchise 500 rating.
This 12 months, regardless of the challenges caused by the pandemic, Taco Bell retains its prime spot on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 rating. The benefit of being in a “class of 1” seems to stay strongly in impact.
It is additionally noteworthy that Taco Bell has a transparent understanding of its goal market — millennials. Because it shifted its goal prospects from household diners to working and job-seeking millennials, it repeatedly innovated and delivered enhanced buyer experiences. Of observe, Taco Bell took digitalization so critically that it turned the first quick-service restaurant to supply an order-and-pay-ahead scheme by a cell app.
“There isn’t a one on the market like us,” mentioned then-Vice President of Expertise, Rafik Hanna, in a keynote presentation on the ICX Summit in Dallas. “We march to the beat of our personal drum. Innovation and creativity are a part of our DNA.”
However sufficient of Taco Bell’s historical past. In gentle of the corporate’s prime franchise quotation, it’s value revisiting 5 of probably the most inventive and attention-grabbing advertising campaigns Taco Bell has finished up to now. The corporate, based by Glen Bell in California, doesn’t excel solely due to its comparatively distinctive place within the fast-food market. It additionally has a knack for internet hosting a number of the craziest and wildest advertising stunts. Let’s rely down their prime 5 crazies.
1. Particles pitch recreation on the Pacific Ocean
Russia’s modular house station Mir was scheduled to deorbit on March 23, 2001. Taco Bell’s advertising staff took benefit of this globally-covered occasion to launch a ridiculously spectacular promotion.
The corporate arrange a huge floating goal board into the Pacific Ocean, the place Mir’s particles was anticipated to fall. In accordance with the introduced promo mechanics, everybody in america could be entitled to get a free Taco Bell taco if a chunk of the house station landed on the floating goal board.
This stunt was extraordinarily dangerous for the corporate’s funds so Taco Bell bought a large insurance coverage coverage to cowl the potential prices of giving freely greater than 280 million free tacos. The insurer estimated the associated fee to be round $10 million.
All of Mir burned up because it entered Earth’s ambiance, so no a part of the house station reached the floating goal. Taco Bell received the dangerous gamble because it gained world media protection for the stunt and elevated model consciousness and gross sales.
2. Steal a base, steal a taco
In 2007, Taco Bell began one other free-taco-for-everyone promo linked to the World Collection. This time the chance of Taco Bell “shedding” and prospects “profitable” was dramatically larger. Taco Bell introduced that if any participant from both of the competing groups stole a base within the World Collection, everybody in america would get free tacos.
Boston Pink Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury managed to steal a base in Recreation 2 of the 2007 World Collection. The corporate delivered on its promise and gave away tacos to American prospects on October 30, 2007.
Taco Bell apparently realized that the promo to provide all People free tacos doesn’t price as a lot as they earlier projected within the Mir house station stunt. Not everybody goes to a Taco Bell retailer and asks for the prize. Additionally, the corporate imposed a one taco per particular person restrict and a 2 pm to six pm period for claiming the free taco.
The corporate determined to do the identical advertising marketing campaign for a number of different World Collection occasions, the newest of which was in 2020, the place Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts stole a base in Recreation 1. This was the ninth time Taco Bell gave away free tacos.
3. The Hoax Coax
In mid-2012, Taco Bell discovered a couple of hoax spreading in Bethel, Alaska, which claimed that the corporate was set to open within the city of just a little over 6,000 individuals. The corporate clarified it was not true and went past by doing one thing the nationwide media and social media websites have been certain to cowl.
Taco Bell’s Irvine franchise despatched a Taco Bell truck to the distant city utilizing a helicopter. The truck had sufficient elements to organize as much as 10,000 tacos. It carried tons of of kilos of beef, bitter cream, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese.
Immediately, there are nonetheless no plans to open a Taco Bell franchise in Bethel. Nevertheless, the well-received act was absolutely remembered by these in Alaska, a few of whom mentioned it was the primary time they tasted tacos once more after many years. The story additionally continues to look on-line in varied publications.
4. Pop-up resort with limitless free tacos
Earlier than Covid hit, Taco Bell efficiently launched one other promotional marketing campaign that attracted widespread curiosity. In Could 2019, the corporate introduced the opening of a pop-up resort in Palm Spring, Calif. The totally furnished Taco Bell themed resort was set to be open for less than 4 days and got here with the assure of free limitless tacos for friends.
In lower than two minutes, the resort was already totally booked. The rooms began at $169 per night time. The resort had a salon in addition to a present store that bought Taco Bell themed garments and different merchandise.
Taco Bell as soon as once more gained free media protection with many on-line information websites and a minimum of one TV station that includes the story. Notably, the headlines centered on how the short-lived pop-up resort bought all of its vacancies in a few minutes, displaying what number of prospects have an interest within the model.
5. The April Fools’ Taco Liberty Bell
Even again in 1996, when web penetration was not that prime and social media was nonexistent, Taco Bell already confirmed an affinity to viral advertising. The corporate launched an April Fools’ joke that turned out to be a bit controversial however by some means value doing for the sake of free media protection.
On April 1, 1996, the corporate ran an advert in The New York Instances that boldly declared, “Taco Bell Buys the Liberty Bell.” The remainder of the advert expressed the corporate’s pleasure of getting bought one of many symbols of American independence, saying that “it’ll now be known as the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’ and can nonetheless be accessible to the American public for viewing.”
The prank advert resulted in 1000’s of individuals calling the Nationwide Park in Philadelphia to complain in regards to the sale of the nationwide treasure. Taco Bell ultimately revealed the joke. The hullabaloo was a win for the corporate because it noticed its revenues improve by $500,000 on the day of the stunt and a better improve of $600,000 the day after. Entrepreneur considers this one of many most profitable advertising stunts ever.
Viral advertising is alleged to have began within the mid-Nineties. Arguably, Taco Bell is among the earliest customers of this promotional technique as evidenced by the prank advert. The corporate has since continued benefiting from this model of oblique promoting and has been profitable in doing so.
Initiative to tackle large concepts
What makes Taco Bell totally different in its method to viral advertising, although, is the willingness to strive explosive concepts others haven’t tried earlier than or are afraid to try doing. As a substitute of fearing the doable backlash, the corporate explored contemporary ideas many would doubtless discover ridiculous however inevitably pay some consideration to.
Taco Bell is aware of the best way to make individuals speak about its model. For the corporate, it seems the target is to launch one thing that individuals will discover and talk about as an alternative of placing out inventive campaigns that ultimately develop into viral.
That is in keeping with the corporate’s concentrate on focusing on millennials. Within the age of widespread web entry and social media, Taco Bell acknowledges that the normal promoting types of fast-food chains handing out flyers and posting print and billboard adverts are now not as efficient as they was.
Taco Bell understands its market and is aware of the best way to leverage social media. “The best way I consider our model is positioned is it’s a model that drives tradition,” mentioned Taco Bell President Brian Niccol in an interview with Entrepreneur.
Trendy tradition is basically formed by social media and the net world. With its sturdy social media presence, Taco Bell sees to it that it catches the eye of its potential prospects whereas using on free protection and the advantages of phrase of mouth advertising by the web. Taco Bell is being considered a social media celebrity with greater than 10 million Fb likes and practically 10 million followers, greater than 1 million Twitter followers, and tons of of 1000’s of followers on Instagram.