Cannes Lions

Fry Again

DEUTSCH, Los Angeles / TACO BELL / 2022

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

For years we’ve built excitement around Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries campaigns –

beloved spoofs of storylines fashioned as movie trailers. But this year, after an extended pandemic lockdown, the film industry was making a comeback, and we had to find a way to stand out from all the long-awaited blockbuster trailers.

Idea

With the return of Nacho Fries comes a spicy plot twist: instead of simply dropping another faux movie trailer, we invited our 1.9 million Twitter followers to create one with us in real-time.

For 48 hours, our Twitter thread became a virtual writer’s room where all sorts of pitches and ideas were welcome. The plot alone wasn't all that fans had a say in. They picked locations, sidekicks, all the way down to naming the main character’s dog.

The interaction was completely organic and based solely on fans' willingness to engage and write the best story.

Strategy

The ways in which we digest content have evolved. And what we uncovered was the notion that different perspectives can often lead to the best collaborations in culture. Storytelling as an art form has also evolved into something that is so much more powerful when there is more than one input. Whether it’s through TikTok or Twitter threads, today’s youth has found different ways to tell stories. There’s this real mindset shift that people don’t want to just digest content; they want to influence the story and be a part of the process — so we set out to find a way to invite them in.

Execution

Nothing defies the agency process quite like kicking off a campaign before you have a script. Over the course of 48 hours, we hosted a real-time virtual writer’s room for our 1.9 million followers; 100% organic. As we collectively landed on our fan-made story, we brought in Oscar nominee, Sean Baker, to direct it. We kept our thread buzzing with sneak peaks from the shoot so fans could see their ideas coming to life. We also enlisted their help for every step of the movie making process — during production, they helped select the wardrobe for our star. Then they helped us with marketing by creating the trailer's official poster. Later on, to supplement the broadcast launch, we released a special social-first Fan Cut version of the spot (a play off of a film’s Director’s Cut) including shout-outs to fans whose ideas made it in the final iteration.

Outcome

During the two-day ideation phase, Nacho Fries social mentions rose by a whopping 1,299% and social impressions rose by 2,161% compared to the previous period. Fans contributed 4.2K+ total decisions, whether that meant answering prompts, volunteering ideas, or responding to polls. Some fans went the extra mile and made songs and videos, when the submission criteria simply required a text tweet only. Not only were fans engaging with us, but they were also engaging with one another and hyping up each other’s ideas, which was really special to witness on a platform that can be full of hate. Some fans tagged celebrities, and many engaged with multiple prompts. The campaign generated over 638M impressions, exceeding each campaign in 2021 individually, even topping the previous campaign’s hits and impressions by over 3.5 times the volume of coverage. The fan co-creation element has undoubtedly contributed to the increase.

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