Cannes Lions

Taco Bell, National Taco Day

SPARK FOUNDRY, Chicago / TACO BELL / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

National Taco Day is a fast-growing celebration, as Americans ate more than 4.5 billion tacos in 2018 alone. Taco Bell aimed to stand out from the taco crowd to become consumers’ go-to spot for NTD. Taco Bell knew: Taco enthusiasts love the endless combinations that they can create with just a few ingredients, and they are always looking for something new.

To make sure we met Taco Bell’s business goals while giving taco lovers what they wanted, we set out to deliver a dynamic media plan that would:

• Generate awareness of the holiday, positioning Taco Bell as the place to celebrate

• Amplify National Taco Day creative elements to the masses

Idea

When preparing for National Taco Day we realized that NTD is essentially the Taco Bell equivalent of: Christmas!

Americans have long had a strong emotional affiliation with the Christmas holiday, where giving/receiving gifts, classic movies, countdowns, etc. have bcome a huge part of the holiday tradition. We decided to let the holiday theme guide our creative process, while coming up with playful spinoffs and parodies of classic Christmas holiday traditions.

We knew we had to get people excited for NTD, and so we came up with multiple campaign ideas to make them laugh and inspire them to start a new tradition with Taco Bell. By working with Viacom and distributing on YouTube, we were able to drive awareness and build anticipation during the week leading up to NTD. We also partnered with Gify to develop custom gifs and stickers, to drive buzz around National Taco Day.

Strategy

To make celebrating NTD a new tradition, we planned to use media to drive awareness of the Holiday Season and Taco Bell’s exclusive gift set. Focusing on adults 18-49, plus the low-hanging fruit of “Taco Bell fans” and those already interested in the holiday, we planned to:

Build anticipation:

-Created our very own :90s, a Claymation special to tease NTD across YouTube and social channels

-Aired Christmas gift parody commercials promoting NTD and the gift set on TBS, Adult Swim, TNT, and truTV

-Teamed up with Viacom create a custom :30 holiday parody, playing off iconic holiday screenplays to drive awareness

-Developed custom GIFs to generate buzz and conversation

Generate day-of awareness:

-Seeded our Claymation spot on Linear TV via high-profile inventory across TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, truTV, NBCU, Viacom, ESPN & CW

-Reminded fans to get their gift set through Facebook and Instagram stories, plus a Twitter “promoted trend”

Execution

From September 23rd to October 4th, we sparked the holiday spirit with daily reminders about NTD and the four-piece Taco Bell gift set, through a breakthrough media plan consisting of:

-Digital Video: Built anticipation for NTD by seeding :06 Glen & The Magic Taco creative across Youtube that drove to the longer :90 Claymation holiday special.

-Custom Content: Worked with Viacom to create a series of custom vignettes with reimagined scenes from iconic holiday screenplays, adding a countdown to NTD into each vignette.

-Paid Social: Distributed a “Last-Minute Shopping Tips” video that showcased the Taco Bell gift set through paid social. A Twitter “promoted trend” was used to remind everyone that NTD has arrived.

-Custom GIF: Partnered with Giphy to drive buzz around NTD by pinning a National Taco Day GIF to the top spot in trending feeds for 12 hours on 10/4 and owned the search term “taco.”

Outcome

Inspiring taco lovers to start a new tradition with Taco Bell, our robust holiday campaign completely outperformed 2017 National Taco Day in sales and social mentions, bringing Taco Bell to the forefront of consumers’ minds and stomachs.

• Taco Bell sold an average of 32% more National Taco Day boxes in 2018 vs. 2017

• Nearly 1 in every 10 tweets about NTD included mention of Taco Bell

• Tweets featuring Taco Bell on National Taco Day increased 63% from the average

• 866 broadcast clips and articles, resulting in 449 million impressions for Taco Bell

o + 60% increase in coverage from 2017

• Taco Bell was the top brand mentioned across all National Taco Day conversation on social

• Taco Bell mentions made up 6% of the total National Taco Day social conversation and brought in over 283MM impressions

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