Big Bell

EDELMAN, London / TACO BELL / 2019


1 Bronze Eurobest
2 Shortlisted Eurobest
Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Demo Film
MP3 Original Language
Supporting Content
Case Film
Case Film
1 of 0 items






Situation: Taco Bell had arrived in the UK but had not yet opened an outlet in London. Brief: Drive the mass awareness and buzz for Taco Bell's first London restaurant openings, in a way that felt relevant to Taco Bell but also to the everyday Londoner.

Challenge: In food obsessed London, most people wouldn’t notice the arrival of another American food chain. Creating hype around the opening in a city where restaurants open every day was going to be a challenge. Not to mention the fact the Londoners are proudly territorial – it was going to take a charming and cheeky way-in to break through those stiff upper-lipped barriers!


• Create a launch moment to inspire intrigue and spark conversation (whilst epitomising Taco Bell's renowned sense of humour)

• Secure positive media attention around the new restaurants and brand

• Positively impact footfall for restaurants opening across the capital


Big Ben – probably London’s most iconic landmark – was down for repairs. For four years, London would be missing the classic hourly chimes (known as The Westminster Quarters) which offer a soundtrack to the city. What a fantastic time for the world’s other great bell – Taco Bell – to make their first appearance in the capital. What if we could make Londoners believe – just for a moment – that their beloved Bell had sprung back to life?... If we could convincingly mimic the sound of Big Ben, capture the public’s bewilderment and create playful, sharable online content to reveal that is was in fact Taco Bell who had offered up their bell, we could have Londoners eating out of our, well, taco restaurants…


Taco Bell’s brand is playful, cheeky and fun. The target audience (Londoners) are busy and immune to new restaurant openings which happen daily….but they do have a great sense of humour. We wanted something epic to stop them in their tracks and get them smiling. In their quirky manner, Taco Bell could play on the tradition and pomposity of London's heritage to create a humorous and highly-sharable, attention-earning launch moment.

Londoners had to be the key recipients of the message. Targeting London centric media outlets such as Metro, Evening Standard and City AM was therefore key to our earned media strategy. To capture the attention of the cool, young Londoners most likely to eat tacos, we also selected key relevant influencers to come to the launch event and get everyone talking about our stunt and the Taco Bell restaurant opening.


Authenticity of the Big Ben bell sound was paramount. Our sound designer speaks on the executional craft: “The original Taco Bell chime was made with a Yamaha DX7 is an 80’s FM synth, which is a specific type of technology that was very new in the 80’s to kind of create sounds - recreate sounds.

Taco Bell used the internal voice number 26, Tubular Bell, for their sonic identity - the Taco Bell gong sound. We mixed it with recordings of Big Ben to create a new version of The Westminster Quarters on the original Yamaha synthesizer. We tested five or six different speaker designs - outside. We tried military grade speakers, really flat panel speakers and hyper directional speakers, amongst others. Some were damaging to hearing and others could be perceived as weapons…both hazardous when activating on Westminster Bridge, next to the Parliament. The challenge was to create the impression of one thing happening, on three different speaker systems that would be moving around. We had to sync these up perfectly, while avoiding radio interference, or the illusion would be ruined.

The event team had to make sure that the wireless frequencies did not get interrupted and that we could stay anonymous to law enforcement. We gave Londoners the illusion of that Big Ben had resurrected, but with a Taco Bell accent. They didn’t see the hours put into it in the studio, in real life testing of different speakers and systems, in methods of hiding them, to eventually make the Taco Bell chime appear to come from Big Ben itself.”

The stunt ran for an entire day in London, with the bells chiming every hour, on the hour. Embargoed releases of the stunt increased the activation’s impact, and amplification via influencers and media gave the stunt global reach.


Business Outcomes

• Staff serving tacos non-stop for EIGHT HOURS on opening day, before there was a single gap in the queue (Hammersmith branch)

• 70% more sales than UK average (Nov 18-Jan19) • 60% more transactions than UK average (Nov 18-Jan19)

• 60% increase in unique users on the Taco Bell UK website over the campaign period • 71% increase in web sessions on the Taco Bell UK website Response Rate

• 84% increase in online searches for Taco Bell, as compared with the previous week.

• 40.7% increase in Taco Bell UK Instagram followers (main social platform)

Media Impressions

• 160 pieces earned UK media coverage (broadcast & articles)

• Over 1.2 billion earned media impressions

• 38.7M total reach from 62 distinct pieces of earned social coverage • 500,000+ reach from 40 separate influencer social posts

• 30+ media persons in attendance at launch

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Don’t Do Bad

OGILVY, Taipei

Don’t Do Bad

2024, PXMART

(opens in a new tab)