Taco Bell is currently running what just may be the greatest social media marketing campaign of the fast food industry to date. Considering all of the fun they appear to be having, it’s hard to believe that anyone there could actually be monitoring numbers or using terms like “analytics” at all. So, I choose to pretend that they aren’t. Instead, I’d rather focus on the amazing job they’re doing at targeting their audience through authentic content and concentrated efforts specifically designed to reach Generation Y.
Introducing First MealTM, Taco Bell’s new A.M. menu. Yes, the same fast food restaurant that brought us FourthMealTM is now promoting their version of breakfast. With millenials as a target demographic, it’s no surprise that social media would be of the utmost importance, and Taco Bell is obviously well aware of this. Utilizing various social media outlets, they’ve successfully launched unique marketing ideas such as the Breakfast Phone, and are successfully leveraging the influence of popular young adults like Tyler Oakley, a well-known YouTuber, Jessica Lu, cast member of MTV’s Awkward, and Leah Cecil, Miss California 2012. According to Nick Tran, Taco Bell’s Social Media Lead, they also make it a priority to “listen and engage all the time.”Their practice of listening and engaging is made evident in the way they join conversations as well as create them. They are intentional in using all outlets frequently and choosing to interact with their audience on a personal level by responding, commenting and even retweeting customer photos, thereby creating a real sense of relationship.
The social media team at Taco Bell is also very aware of the power of visuals, given their frequent activity via YouTube as well as Instagram, where they share several high-quality and creative promotional images regularly. Most importantly, Taco Bell acts human. Not only are they responding to their followers, but they’re fun and often very clever.
By now, I’m sure many of you are aware that Taco Bell has waged war with fast food giant, McDonald’s by releasing a series of ads centered around the name, Ronald McDonald. Because they understand that their audience appreciates irony and sarcasm, they’ve written and designed this series of ads, Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast, to be cunning, satirical and entertaining, resulting in over 3 million views. Most recently, they’ve released Get With The Times, their latest commercial driving the notion that McDonald’s is totes 20 years ago.
Then there’s the Breakfast Phone. In a world where everything is mobile dependent, why not create a marketing concept related to cell phones? 1,000 real, functional cell phones were sent out to “fast food influencers” with one initial instruction: “Keep it with you always”. The influencers later began to receive calls and alerts notifying them of time-sensitive secret missions – all of which just so happened to involve taking to social media on behalf of Taco Bell. In a word, genius! One of those influencers, @brianlogandales, sums it up: “This is the most interesting social media experiment I’ve ever seen. I’m terrified.”
Have you received your custom Taco Bell jewelry? No? Well, you’re not alone. Only a limited number of custom Taco Bell rings and love notes were sent to various unsuspecting beauties including celebrities such as swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen and actress Kirsten Storms. There was only one request. Show the world! Though some of the general public perceived the rings as ugly or felt the idea was creepy and odd, no one can deny that it did its job. It began a conversation about Taco Bell.
So, whether it’s their focused content, their use of wild and imaginative imagery, or their shameless antics, Taco Bell is doing an excellent job at connecting with their audience and fueling the desire for their products and interaction. Through thoughtful marketing ideas and basic social media concepts, they’ve made it very clear that “Breakfast is here…….and Ronald McDonald loves it.”
Tori Chambers – Content Specialist