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AdAge Touts Taco Bell "Live Mas" Campaign

Doritos Cool Ranch poster in the window of a Taco Bell
A Doritos Cool Ranch poster on the window of a Taco Bell, photo/bmm

Taco Bell saw a quantum marketing shift in 2012 from its food-as-fuel "think outside the bun" to its now "Live mas" tagline. Ad Age says the fifty-year old fast food test kitchen has launched a major marketing hit with its latest menu items and campaign. Marketing executives moved from sister brand Pizza Hut to soon-to-be sizzling Taco Bell.

Launches major product hits

New menu items have poured out from the Southern California-based franchising company. Maureen Morrison of AdAge reports that working closely with longtime ad agency Interpublic's DraftFCB, the marketing team launched a campaign meant to give more life to a sagging brand. The results?

Taco Bell in 2012 posted an 8% increase in U.S. same-store sales -- more than twice the 3.3% gain of industry leader McDonald's -- after the most-successful product launch in the company's 50-year history. It took three years and 45 prototypes to launch Doritos Locos Tacos, which sold 100 million in the product's first 10 weeks….In March of this year, Taco Bell rolled out Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos and, in August, Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos. Taco Bell has sold more than 600 million of the original and Cool Ranch tacos in the U.S. since the introduction nearly a year and a half ago… But while the Doritos line and the massive spending behind it made the most obvious contribution to Taco Bell's bottom line, the chain also introduced the Cantina menu, aimed at more health-conscious consumers, and is testing a Power Protein menu and breakfast.

Explores new media

Taco Bell invested and experimented heavily with social media to reach millennials "in ways other companies in its category have not," observes Morrison of AdAge.

"You have to go to these other screens, because in the end, kids in college dorm rooms don't even have TVs, they're using laptops," said Mr. Nicco [Taco Bell President].

Here are online commercials from Taco Bell that target Millennials.

Unfortunately, 2012's strong strides for Taco Bell have slowed in the second quarter of 2013 to 3 percent growth in same-store-sales. But Ad Age points out that the Taco Bell brand still has a lot of room to maneuver. It is testing a breakfast "Power Protein" in Dayton Ohio. There is also room for more taco shell flavors. "Analysts report there are 126 varieties of Doritos around the world."

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Staff reporter for Blue MauMau