Cannes Lions

Naked Chicken Chalupa

EDELMAN, Los Angeles / TACO BELL / 2017

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Create an opposition in the form of The Council for Eating Fried Chicken The Same Way You Always Have, to control the conversation with a uniquely-Taco Bell humor and wit. By creating our own adversary, we would generate conversation about the menu item two weeks prior to in-restaurant availability. The Council would add tension and allure for the new item, driving media and consumer excitement at launch which would translate to restaurant traffic and sales. The idea would culminate in an experiential activation in response to The Council, the Taco Bell Speakeasy in New York City, which would get the Naked Chicken Chalupa into the hands of media and consumers, despite The Council’s efforts.

Execution

Two weeks prior to in-restaurant availability, campaign efforts began with a Taco Bell press release announcing the date of the Naked Chicken Chalupa’s debut in stores. That announcement spurred a reaction from The Council, who took to social media to warn fans not to be "seduced" and sent cautionary, anti-Naked Chicken Chalupa materials to media. Taco Bell then began the cross-country tour to give food influencers and media a chance to experience the Naked Chicken Chalupa ahead of launch. In the two days prior to launch, Taco Bell hosted media at the New York City Speakeasy, turning anticipation into rave reviews. The Speakeasy opened to the public in the evenings, driving consumer frenzy for the menu item ahead of in-restaurant availability. Additionally, in the days leading up to launch Taco Bell delivered Naked Chicken Chalupas to top-tier national broadcast outlets, resulting in live, on-air tastings of the menu item.

Outcome

The Naked Chicken Chalupa launch was incredibly successful, with explosive results and overwhelmingly positive media coverage that pulled through Taco Bell’s key product messages. Campaign efforts generated more than three billion media impressions, measured across both traditional and social media. Traditional media coverage alone garnered 2.4 billion impressions, and was incredibly positive in sentiment. The positive tone at launch successfully accomplished Taco Bell’s objective of avoiding “carnival food” misconceptions about the menu item, and drove positive consumer perception of the item as it became available in restaurant. Total coverage included over 1,500 broadcast clips and articles, across all of Taco Bell’s key media verticals of national, lifestyle, business, food and broadcast media. Notable hits included The TODAY Show, CNBC Power Lunch, FOX Business, People NOW, USA Today, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Mashable, GQ, Food & Wine, Ad Age, Adweek, Delish, Thrillist, The Food Network, Fast Company and Refinery29, to name a few. The Naked Chicken Chalupa also made its way to late night TV fodder, with mentions on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Additionally, the Taco Bell Speakeasy consumer activation reached maximum capacity with over 1,000 reservations across the two nights. As a result of the conversation PR drove without the help of paid, on launch day Taco Bell experienced an instant 12% increase in same-store sales that held, and even increased, throughout the Naked Chicken Chalupa product window.

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