Taco Bell makes taco emoji their own in global Taco Day stunt

Taco Bell is inspiring consumers around the world to taste its tacos with two new brand marketing initiatives: a global promotion offering free tacos to consumers in 23 markets around the world, and a partnership for National Taco Day only in the states. -United with the digital communication platform Discord.

Seeking to make Taco Bell a synonym for tacos across the world, the fast food giant today launched two major new marketing initiatives. The first aims to increase global awareness by making the taco emoji our own that lives on all our phones. The second taps into Discord’s very active US user base on a fun day of taco distribution.

With nearly four billion smartphone users worldwide, many consumers have taco emojis on hand, but have never tried tacos themselves. The fast food chain wants to change that. Taco Bell has partnered with creative agency Deutsch LA to develop a promotion to turn taco emojis into IRL tacos for hungry consumers. Translated into five different languages ​​and rolled out in 23 different markets around the world, the new “Taco IRL” campaign invites smartphone users to scan a QR code or enter a short URL into their devices, which then automatically launch the apps. user mailbox and fills up. the text field with a taco emoji. All that’s left to do is click ‘send’ – attendees will then receive an offer that can be cashed in for a free in-store taco today, October 4th.

But the “Taco IRL” campaign is more important than emojis. With out-of-home elements, influencer marketing and organic and paid social media, this is an attempt to expand brand awareness around the world and drive sales in markets where Taco Bell is less popular than the United States, its main market.

“The goal is to make the Taco Bell taco famous around the world. When someone sees a half moon, an arch in a bridge, or our favorite emoji – the taco emoji – we want them to immediately think of Taco Bell, ”says Taylor Montgomery, the company’s international marketing manager. This goal builds on the larger “I See a Taco” brand initiative, which was launched earlier this year with the “Taco Moon” campaign.

“Our main challenge outside of the United States is to ensure that the taco has the same level of freshness as in the United States,” Montgomery continues. “To do that, we have to put the Taco Bell taco in people’s hands so that they can experience the magic and fall in love with the brand. This specific campaign is so much fun because we are overturning the outreach challenge that we have. to try.”

Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, has experienced impressive growth both nationally and internationally this year. The company’s latest earnings report shows that after suffering a pandemic-induced blow last year, net sales rose 18% in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same quarter last year. – and that worldwide comparable store sales jumped 9% in the quarter. Brand marketing efforts like the “Taco IRL” campaign are aimed at helping Yum Brands properties grow their footprint in international markets and generate more revenue globally.

Play with Discord

To complement the global campaign, Taco Bell is also launching a US-only promotion in partnership with the chat room and communication platform Discord, which has more than 150 million monthly active users. Taco Bell has launched its own Discord server, a place where fans are invited to gather to celebrate National Taco Day. Within the server, users are invited to participate in a Taco Trivia event – the winner, nicknamed the “TacoChampion”, will be highlighted on the server and receive free tacos as a reward. Taco Bell will also drop its Taco Gifters – digital gift cards redeemable for a taco – in other Discord channels and hide various specials on social media and Reddit (where the brand has a loyal following and has even partnered up. to users to create brand marketing materials).

Taco Bell and the creatives and strategists of Deutsch LA felt that Discord was the right place to host the American campaign. “National Taco Day is the biggest party for Taco Bell, and we want to celebrate their communities in a way that brings them together and gives them a space to connect with their shared love for Taco Bell in an authentic way,” said the partner of Deutsch LA. director of strategy Lauren Murphy. “Discord was the perfect way to achieve this, as it is a specially designed platform for people to talk, hang out, and stay close to their friends and communities. “

This year marks Taco Bell’s first foray into fully integrated global marketing. With the launch of the “I See a Taco” campaign earlier this year and the launch of the new international “IRL Taco” project today, the fast food titan is taking definitive steps to position itself as a truly global brand.

“We always strive to make our food globally consistent and locally relevant,” says Montgomery. “We realized we had to take the same approach with our marketing and advertising. As we build the brand around the world, we focus on a cohesive campaign that makes the biggest part of our brand famous: the taco.

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