While you may not describe the new Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos or the Danny’s Grand Slam as the pinnacle of American culinary offerings, they are at the pinnacle of current American restaurant marketing. What do these two offerings have in common besides a dangerously high calorie count? Both have applied mass marketing techniques that have managed to catch the attention of a nationwide audience that lives in a 3 minute messaging world.
Doritos Locos Tacos have produced the most successful product launch in Taco Bell’s 50-year history, selling 100 million tacos in just 10 weeks while it took rival fast food chain McDonald’s 18 years to sell 100 million burgers. While the numbers may be attributed to the growing number of actual fast food consumers, Integrate is willing to bet that their savvy marketing strategies have also aided in propelling the taco to the top. Thousands of tweets have been generated from the #doritoslocostacos hashtag and more popular tweets have been featured in their commercials including one claiming that eating a taco is “like kissing a unicorn on a pot of gold.” You can’t buy this type of marketing, which is solid gold to any type of business.
Denny’s has been serving up Grand Slams for over 50 years and is a breakfast icon in the United States. They have recently begun promoting their mobile app which will allow you to check-in at each of their restaurant locations. They are launching an entire marketing campaign based on the premise of checking in to Denny’s location all around the country. While we’re not sure that creating another check-in based application is the way to go instead of utilizing the already popular FourSquare or SCVNGR, it has gained a lot of initial attention and we’ll be interested to see how it all plays out.
While these campaigns are noteworthy for their popularity as well as social media usage, the question of corporate social responsibility does come to mind. As you may have seen us post on our Facebook page recently, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has recently proposed a ban on the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city’s restaurants, delis, movie theaters or street carts. While some may feel that the government may not have the right to intervene in issues of public consumption, should a marketing, advertising or PR company back down just because a product is deemed unhealthy? Should 100 million Doritos Locos Taco have been sold to a nation of rapidly increasing waistlines? Is promoting the idea of going to not only one Denny’s restaurant but to 50, wise?
Any promotion comes down to the product. In our opinion, promotional efforts can reinforce the idea of enjoying any product, but the messaging must reverberate with the fact that these items should be enjoyed in moderation. Although marketers, advertisers and PR professionals would like to believe that the public understands moderation, we believe it is always important to act responsibly across campaigns.
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