Super Bowl is the D-day of all advertisers, but Taco Bell wanted to make it unforgetable. In a mystery ad the burrito chain asks its customers to preorder an unnamed item two days before its official release. Though you must either be a true Taco Bell fanatic or plain crazy to do it, thousands have already done it.
Though the strategy may sound crazy, the restaurant chain put a bet on its fan base and its execs’ sense of what may be the next big thing for the pop culture. Nevertheless, its unique advertisement campaign stood out of the rest of Super Bowl 50 commercials.
The company’s chief marketing officer, or the brain behind the ad, Marisa Thalberg said that the preorder system might be Taco’s biggest innovation to date.
“I’m getting happy goosebumps. I have that feeling with this campaign.”
But an ad campaign is not aired only on the day of the Super Bowl game. Customers need to be kept interested during, before, and after the game. Taco Bell reportedly spent up to $20 million for this year’s Super Bowl campaign.
Russell Winer, a marketing expert at NYU’s Stern School of Business, believes that the buzz before and after the Super Bowl is equally important for company’s sales.
And there was some buzz. No one knew what was in the mystery box in the Super Bowl ad. They could only guess. The company announced that it had been working on the mystery product for more than two years after intense research in pop culture’s food trends.
Thalberg noted that the new product involved a level of execution like no other product before. This is why it took so long for it to be finally rolled out. Thalberg declined to say the name of the product, but social media concluded that it might be the “Quesalupa,” a product which has been recently tested in just in Toledo stores. Toledo had also been picked by Taco Bell to test its Doritos Locos Tacos, which were proven a sheer success.
Yet, before the Super Bowl, the company tried to brush off rumors that Quesalupa may be the mystery product. It said that the delicious treat is just one of the food items happening to be tested in Toledo.
Marketing experts said that the chain’s decision to air the mystery ad during this year’s Super Bowl was a stroke of genius. To get as many Millennials to watch an ad as a Super Bowl spot you would need to pay for ads on at least five episodes of the Walking Dead or seven of Empire.
Surprisingly, Taco Bell planned to launch the new product earlier but because Super Bowl was coming it said why not. So, it released an online teaser days before the game, so that on Saturday people could have already tasted the mystery product. The company has hoped that by Sunday, the social media would have been flooded with reviews ( i.e. free advertising) of the new product, which by the way it was Quesalupa.
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