Taco Bell and Deutsch LA recruited real people named Ronald McDonald to test out the new Taco Bell breakfast menu.
Previously seen as a late-night brand, Taco Bell sought to expand their offering to breakfast in 2014. Entering one of the most competitive and crowded QSR categories – breakfast, Taco Bell not only needed to drive awareness of its new menu, but also had to stand out against an existing group of players in the category, all offering almost the same thing. Taco Bell’s goal? To make breakfast a two-horse race.
With this goal in mind, Taco Bell went head-to-head with the #1 fast food breakfast provider – McDonalds, and hijacked the most famous name in fast food – Ronald McDonald. In a provocative marketing campaign that employed around 30 real-life Ronald McDonalds advocating for Taco Bell Breakfast, the brand was able to break onto the breakfast scene in a big way.
Starting with an initial launch video, several TV spots, a behind-the-scenes video and more than 100 personalized social media response videos, Taco Bell was able to gain awareness and consideration in an impactful way.
The response was phenomenal. More than 2000 different news outlets picked up the launch, calling it a “Fast Food War.”
Within hours, it became the top trending topic on Twitter, Facebook and Google Trends, with almost 125,000 tweets on launch day, and over two million YouTube views on the launch video alone. This resulted in over 3 billion media impressions in first 48 hours.
In a matter of days, what was once a crowded category became a two-horse race, setting an all time sales record for franchisees.
The campaign won a total of five Cannes Lions and one CLIO award.
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