Cheese fans rejoice. A billboard dispensing nacho cheese will come to life, thanks to Taco Bell Canada. The billboard nicknamed the ‘Cheesiest Billboard’ promotes the new Nacho Cheese Naked Chicken Chalupa. On Saturday, January 19, the quick-service chain’s fans can come to the flagship store on Queen West in Toronto to pour endless nacho cheese on their favorite foods.
This isn’t the first cheeky marketing stunt by Taco Bell Canada. In December, they launched Crunchwrapping paper to advertise the company’s Triple Double Crunchwrap. The holiday wrapping paper was available for purchase on Amazon Canada and promptly sold out.
Last summer, when Canadians finally got Mountain Dew Baja Blast added to their Taco Bell menu the marketer team launch a mobile hair salon called the Taco Bell Baja Blessed Salon. Consumers could get their hair dyed a Baja Blast blue made by Manic Panic—popular for their variety of bright hair color.
This latest OOH campaign offers free food and attendees can make it as cheesy as they want. Taco Bell Canada marketer Nathan Maddock spoke to AList about the upcoming activation.
Can you describe how the billboard activation will work?
I guess the best way to describe it is that it will be built around a tasting event. It’s very simple. The fans will get a chance to come, get a chalupa and they’ll be able to line up at the billboard and use the dispenser themselves to deliver as much nacho cheese as they want.
Are you worried it might get too chaotic?
We always love to think of new innovative ways to show our fans a good time. So, for this unexpected experience, we’ll have a team in place. It should be pretty organized, but we are expecting a good group out there.
Were there any reservations during the creative process?
No, I don’t think so. We had to do our [due] diligence to make sure that we could execute the event. The idea was so great [and] we knew we wanted to try and make it happen. We have all the partners and teams in place to be able to pull it off. As long as we could keep everything food-safe and keep our partners in quality assurance happy, then we were always really excited to make it happen no matter what.
How was the idea conceived?
The way things typically come to life is the team on our brand side will put a brief into place for a specific product. In this case, knowing the Naked Chicken Chalupa is a big fan favorite is the fact that we’re bringing it back with nacho cheese on it.
With that said, we had our creative agencies, PR agencies, really wrapping their heads around how we are going to bring this to life. The sentiment that we liked about this idea is that everything is better with nacho cheese. We evaluated a lot of different ways to bring to life, and this is truly the idea that we fell in love with. It’s picking up some steam, and people are very excited about it, asking us a ton of questions. We are super excited about the time when we get to deliver the experience on Saturday.
Your team has had other humorous campaigns like Crunchwrapping paper. Do you feel like these elicit a better response from consumers?
All of these are fan-driven. At Taco Bell we think about ourselves as a category of one, so we don’t necessarily compare ourselves against the traditional quick-service food brands. We believe we have an advantage in that our fan-base is so passionate.
Whenever we are launching new products and bringing the brand in front of people, we try and incorporate our fans to give them the most epic experience as possible. This is just another example of whether we are sending them CrunchWrapping Paper or bringing them the world’s cheesiest billboard, it’s all fan-driven. And we think about the fans before we think about anything else.
Can you explain what you mean by being “fan-driven”?
We spend a lot of time and energy on social listening. So just being involved in the local communities, social media and using the data that’s happening right in front of us. Our fans are very vocal and we love that. It really helps us to make decisions with them on top of mind. We also have quarterly advisory boards, where we invite our fans in to have them taste our products before we launch them and to see advertising before it goes out.
It’s also an opportunity to get engaged with our ever-changing consumer and to make sure that the decisions we are making from the brand end have them at the top of our mind because it’s always our goal.
Do you think Taco Bell Canada is any different than Taco Bell U.S.?
We are always staying close to our partners in the U.S., only because they have so much more resources than we do, but it’s essential that we understand the Canadian consumer. Every decision we make is very fan- and consumer-driven that it’s important for us to make that distinction. It’s not merely a U.S. idea trickling its way into Canada, but that the Canadian arm of the brand is making key decisions regarding how they are going to put activations in front of consumers.