Today's nationwide launch of Taco Bell's Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos has been building for the past few weeks, thanks to the brand's largest marketing campaign in its history.
The company's integrated marketing and consumer engagement effort includes advertising (television, radio, outdoor, digital and cinema), as well as social and public relations support.
Building up awareness prior to launch
Taco Bell has been building the Cool Ranch DLT for about three weeks via its social media channels, providing sneak peeks at the new taco with password-only "speakeasy" events in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Taco Bell also listened to real-time social conversations and rewarded fans asking for Cool Ranch DLT daily by providing "epic deliveries" to give them an early taste. A few examples included: a New York delivery to a woman who asked Taco Bell to be her Valentine; in Minneapolis, a university student brought together enough friends and family to finish 1,000 Cool Ranch DLTs; and, in Seattle, a YouTube personality got a surprise delivery of Cool Ranch DLTs after an exchange on Twitter with Taco Bell and her posting a special request video on her channel.
The product-inspired conversation is continuing via Twitter @TacoBell using the #CoolRanchDLT password.
The launch is also supported by TV ads inspired by consumer responses to the original Doritos Locos Taco, and subsequent demand for a Cool Ranch version.
One 30-second launch spot, titled "World's Most Obvious Idea," illustrates everyday consumer reactions to Nacho Cheese DLT, saying "they should make a Cool Ranch one."
Two 15-second spots — titled "Wow" and "Duh" — feature the reaction of celebrities as they try new taco for the first time. They include all-pro basketball player Kevin Love, lifecaster/web host iJustine (Justine Izarik), online actor/comedian/musician Shane Dawson and comedian/vlogger/gamer Toby Turner.
The "World's Most Obvious Idea" and "Wow" versus "Duh" ads were created by Deutsch, Los Angeles and, DraftFCB, respectively. Taco Bell will support the Cool Ranch DLT launch and sustain efforts with several other ads, which can be seen at youtube.com/tacobell as they become available.
In addition, on all Cool Ranch DLT wrappers, cups and $5 Big Boxes, Taco Bell is inviting fans to post to Instagram or Tweet their best #wow or #duh face — using those specific hashtags, followed by #CoolRanchDLT – for the chance to see their photo reactions on a big screen billboard in Times Square.
Perhaps the most unique component in the marketing strategy is Taco Bell's 3-D spot made in partnership with NCM Media Networks.
According to NCM, the new Taco Bell Cool Ranch DLT 3-D spot is the first QSR 3-D spot in cinema industry history. It will be showcased on the big screen in NCM's FirstLook 3-D pre-show program on more than 8,000 3-D screens in top movie theaters nationwide on March 8.
A 2-D version of the campaign will also run in FirstLook across NCM's full cinema network of more than 19,300 screens.
The 3-D and 2-D cinema spots — also created by Draftfcb — feature the image of a Doritos chip spinning and exploding, with pieces of chip and seasoning flying out as it morphs into the Cool Ranch DLT Supreme. It is accompanied by the tagline: "If you loved the original, wait until you eat the sequel."
Taco Bell has made a 2013 cinema upfront commitment with NCM to make the best strategic use of the big screen on a consistent basis to amplify the brand's key promotions throughout the year. NCM estimates that 90 percent of its theaters are within a 5-mile radius of a Taco Bell location.
"NCM is America's number one reach network on weekends, so it is the perfect way for Taco Bell to reach their target adult 18 to 34 audiences while they are enjoying a night out at the movies," said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM Media Networks. "It has been proven time and again that adding cinema to a media buy increases advertising engagement, recall and likeability, so planning cinema upfront like this is clearly the way to go to make the biggest impact."
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