Taco Bell has a knack for hopping on trends. After Blink-182 frontman Mark Hopper called attention to the fast food chain’s lack of fries with a popular tweet bemoaning the situation, the brand responded two days later: “That might change.” This week, Taco Bell will launch the much-anticipated item and teased the release with a short video that highlights its digital savvy.
The 90-second spot, “Web of Fries,” is a trailer for a film that doesn’t actually exist. It features Josh Duhamel as a man who stumbles upon what might be the restaurant’s greatest unsold treasure — nacho fries. In addition to appearing on YouTube, the ad will be aired during the NFC Championship Game this weekend, as well as on other TV channels and in movie theaters. For brands looking to tease a new product, there is no more shareable way to build buzz, demonstrate customer service, and enhance digital performance overall.
Earning a top spot in the Gifted category of L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants, Taco Bell continuously innovates in digital, particularly on Twitter. Campaigns such as Taco Bell Weddings and the Taco Emoji campaign set the platform aflame (and in the case of the latter, ultimately triumphed). To mark the launch of its fries, Taco Bell created a relevant hashtag (#NachoFries) for its 1.89 million Twitter followers to go to town with.
Although Twitter user growth in the US has stagnated, the platform still represents a reasonable share of the social engagement pie for restaurant brands, due largely to frequent customer service exchanges. Major brands like Starbucks and Taco Bell use customer-service specific Twitter handles to separate these exchanges from promotional tweets. Additionally, this allows Taco Bell to single out and respond to tweets such as the message from Blink-182’s Hoppus, making clear to fans that the brand is listening.