Cannes Lions

BREAKFAST

DEUTSCH LA, Los Angeles / TACO BELL / 2015

Awards:

1 Bronze Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Last year, we made breakfast a two-horse race with McDonalds, but 9 months later, they still sold more between 8:00 and 10:30 AM than Taco Bell did all day. We needed to make Taco Bell breakfast feel big again, so we baked PR into our creative idea.

The Breakfast Defectors campaign compares McDonald’s to a bleak, boring and repressed world, known as the “Routine Republic”. We made such a provocative statement with this campaign that it was impossible for media and consumers not to talk about it.

A teaser campaign launched with unbranded propaganda-style wild postings, a website and video on behalf of the ‘Routine Republic’, which was closely followed by an epic 3:00 short film and TV spot showing two people defecting from the routine of boring, bland breakfast to the next generation of breakfast at Taco Bell.

We encouraged the nation to defect by enlisting Taco Bell super fans to become rebel leaders through direct mailed “Defector Kits”.

BreakfastDefectors.com became the hub for defecting via social missions and use of #breakfastdefectors. Soon defector testimonials were released via television and radio.

It all culminated on Breakfast Defector Day, the day when 5 million people defected from their morning routine, and in celebration we rewarded the nation with free biscuit tacos.

Within the first week, the campaign garnered 1.7B earned impressions through more than 995 media stories and roughly 30,000 social media mentions. Breakfast sentiment increased from 25% to 64% and feeling threatened, McDonalds is now serving breakfast all day.

Execution

Prior to the national launch, the PR team secured interviews with top tier media under embargo to discuss the Breakfast Defectors campaign tied with new menu items to go live the day of launch. On launch day, the PR team pushed the campaign news (featuring the 3:00 film, wild postings, defectors kits and propaganda film) out broadly to mainstream media and within 24 hours, garnered 150 million impressions.

The provocative nature of the creative in this campaign was the central force behind the PR strategy. So many people speculated on what could have influenced the creative idea (ie: Hunger Game Series/Divergent, 1984, political references) that the campaign became water cooler conversation around the world.

Outcome

The messaging from the Routine Republic Department of Public Information effectively bridged our media buys, carrying the campaign out into the real world. The unbranded content piqued consumer interest and kept the propaganda theme true with just a simple URL.

The posters set-up everything Taco Bell’s breakfast is not – a uniform, brainwashed, fake, and deliriously happy world, generating interest and buzz around our overall campaign.

Within the first week, the campaign earned 1.7B impressions for breakfast through more than 995 earned stories and roughly 30,000 social media mentions. Media highlights include coverage in The Bill O’Reilly Show, Associated Press, USA Today, Fast Company, Digiday, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Advertising Age and Adweek, and many more.

Opinion of Taco Bell breakfast increased from 25% in 2014 to 64%. Sales are meeting forecasts and in feeling the reality of that threat, McDonald’s has begun to serve breakfast all day.

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