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Simply probably the most fashionable 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 probably not a serious competitor to it in that house,” Georgia State College Franchise Entrepreneurship Professor Benjamin Lawrence mentioned in our characteristic article in regards to the company topping the 2020 Franchise 500 ranking.
This 12 months, regardless of the challenges led to by the pandemic, Taco Bell retains its high spot on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 ranking. 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 be aware, Taco Bell took digitalization so severely that it turned the first quick-service restaurant to offer 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 mild of the corporate’s high franchise quotation, it’s price revisiting 5 of probably the most inventive and attention-grabbing marketing campaigns Taco Bell has completed to date. 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 among the craziest and wildest advertising stunts. Let’s rely down their high 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 big 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 the US can be entitled to get a free Taco Bell taco if a piece of the space station landed on the floating target 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 making a gift of greater than 280 million free tacos. The insurer estimated the price 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 gained the dangerous gamble because it gained world media protection for the stunt and elevated brand 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 Sequence. This time the chance of Taco Bell “dropping” and prospects “profitable” was dramatically increased. Taco Bell introduced that if any player from either of the competing teams stole a base within the World Sequence, everybody in the US would get free tacos.
Boston Pink Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury managed to steal a base in Recreation 2 of the 2007 World Sequence. 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 offer all Individuals 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 Sequence occasions, the most recent 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 few 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 positive to cowl.
Taco Bell’s Irvine franchise sent a Taco Bell truck to the remote town using a helicopter. The truck had sufficient components to arrange as much as 10,000 tacos. It carried tons of of kilos of beef, bitter cream, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese.
In the present day, there are nonetheless no plans to open a Taco Bell franchise in Bethel. Nevertheless, the well-received act was certainly remembered by these in Alaska, a few of whom mentioned it was the primary time they tasted tacos once more after a long time. The story additionally continues to look on-line in varied publications.
4. Pop-up lodge with limitless free tacos
Earlier than Covid hit, Taco Bell efficiently launched one other promotional marketing campaign that attracted widespread curiosity. In Might 2019, the corporate introduced the opening of a pop-up lodge in Palm Spring, Calif. The totally furnished Taco Bell themed lodge was set to be open for under 4 days and got here with the assure of free limitless tacos for friends.
In less than two minutes, the hotel was already fully booked. The rooms began at $169 per night time. The lodge had a salon in addition to a present store that offered 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 no less than one TV station that includes the story. Notably, the headlines targeted on how the short-lived pop-up lodge offered all of its vacancies in a few minutes, exhibiting 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 top and social media was nonexistent, Taco Bell already confirmed an affinity to viral marketing. The corporate launched an April Fools’ joke that turned out to be a bit controversial however one way or the other price doing for the sake of free media protection.
On April 1, 1996, the corporate ran an advert in The New York Occasions 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 is going to 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 successful marketing stunts ever.
Viral advertising is claimed to have began within the mid-Nineteen Nineties. Arguably, Taco Bell is without doubt one of the earliest customers of this promotional technique as evidenced by the prank advert. The corporate has since continued benefiting from this model of oblique advertising and has been profitable in doing so.
Initiative to tackle huge 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 aim doing. As an alternative of fearing the doable backlash, the corporate explored contemporary ideas many would possible discover ridiculous however inevitably pay some consideration to.
Taco Bell is aware of easy methods to make individuals speak about its model. For the corporate, it seems the target is to launch one thing that individuals will discover and focus on as an alternative of placing out creative campaigns that eventually become viral.
That is according to the corporate’s give attention to 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 advertisements are not as efficient as they was once.
Taco Bell understands its market and is aware of easy methods to leverage social media. “The way in which 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 essentially 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 driving on free protection and the advantages of phrase of mouth advertising by the web. Taco Bell is being considered a social media superstar 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.