Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) at bottom.
Since taking my marketing classes, I like to think that I have crossed the bridge from a “Mindless Consumer” to a “Consumer with a Mind” that can notice marketing campaigns being implemented. One of my professors the other day said that “Marketers aren’t paid to be brilliant, they are paid to be persistent, strategic, and diligently hard working.” This news came as a disappointment to me, as I was hoping to rely solely on my remarkable brilliance to get by in the marketing field. Nevertheless, a company that I have had my eye on for the past few years that I believe has been extremely strategic and persistent is Taco Bell. When it comes to reinventing your image, Taco Bell is surely up there in the top dogs alongside pop sensation Madonna. Through the years, Taco Bell has meticulously re-Branded itself from the family oriented change of variety fast food restaurant to the young, hip, and “Dude, that was so EXTREME” restaurant.
It doesn’t take a Marketing expert to realize the subtle changes Taco Bell has made in the past few years in order to attract a certain new demographic of customers. To put it in a nutshell, Taco Bell now has cool colors, late night munchies menus, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, and a taco made from Doritos. If you still cannot figure out what demographic I am talking about, then to put it in un-Politically Correct terms, 15-22 year olds who most likely have blood shot eyes. Now I know this is a very unprofessional and amateur assumption to make, and one that Taco Bell would never agree too, but the whole revamp of the Taco Bell experience seems to ring true with this statement.
Since the Ad Agency “Digitas” took over the Taco Bell account, we have seen a surplus in new Taco Bell lingo and jargon and unique product offers that have consistently appealed to certain consumers. Digitas was the first Ad Agency to come out with the concept of “First meal”, “fourth meal”, and the new slogan “Liv Mas” which if my 5th grade spanish serves me correctly, roughly translates to “Live more” or “Live better” depending on the context. Now whether or not these new phrases have been incorporated into the typical American vocabulary, it is safe to say that the age group of consumer most likely to catch on to these phrases are the same that mindlessly post YOLO on facebook status’s and tweets.
One thing that I have always wondered was that before the trendy saying “you only live once” (YOLO) came out, what did the younger generation think happened beforehand? and did they need a song to tell them that they would only live once? Nevertheless, this “YOLO” demographic as I like to call it, seems to be extremely fond of the unique products offered at Taco Bell along with the pricing. The main two unique products has to do with the new Dorito taco loco and the exclusive sale of Mountain Dew Baja Blast. If at this point you are still not convinced that Taco Bell is targeting the “YOLO” demographic with their new Brand Image, then you obviously do not know what the Dorito taco loco is……which is literally….a taco made from nacho cheese Doritos. The only two things that could possibly level this up would be a taco made from Cheetos or Funyuns.
For this post, I am not disputing whether this marketing campaign was a smart move or not. What matters more, is the success that I have seen in the Taco Bell marketing campaign in consistently communicating their new image to the consumers on every level of communication. There is no doubt that Taco Bell is no longer seen as the family oriented destination but instead, for the YOLO-ers. Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said “Live Más” is a more “experiential” tagline, meant to reflect consumers’ move from “food as fuel toward food as experience.” Now whether this is a PR excuse for the not-so-high quality food offered (although it has drastically improved IMO) at Taco Bell, the new slogan is still consistent with the overall new brand of Taco Bell. All in all, since Taco Bell’s negative fiscal year in 2011, they have seen steady positive results since this re-branding, have developed an extremely loyal fan base, and one of the most liked pages on facebook……Yo quiero Taco Bell.
TL;DR: Taco Bell has successfully re-branded it’s image in the past few years. Dorito’s Taco Loco is Yummmy.
Cheers to good Marketing!