- Taco Bell is bringing Nacho Fries back on July 12 for a limited time and tying the return of the popular menu item to the 25th anniversary of the movie "Demolition Man," per a news release. In the 1993 Sylvester Stallone vehicle, Taco Bell is the lone restaurant left in the utopian world of 2032 after surviving the so-called "Franchise Wars."
- Taco Bell will detail how the brand achieved that status in a sequel to the "Web of Fries" promotion that first launched Nacho Fries in the U.S. back in January. The campaign will culminate in a pop-up "Demolition Man" dining experience from July 19-21 in San Diego, California, that aims to recreate the "futuristic and upscale" look of the film.
- Fans can follow the promotion with the hashtag #NachoFries on social media. Taco Bell is also giving them the opportunity to watch "Demolition Man" for free via Fandango's streaming platform, FandangoNOW, through June 28.
Taco Bell marketed the initial launch of Nacho Fries in the U.S. with a fake trailer that closely mirrored those for actual Hollywood movies, down to having actor Josh Duhamel star in the spots. Its summer campaign takes that idea even further by directly tying the brand to a blockbuster from years past. While "Demolition Man" may be a slightly odd pick for a partnership — it's more of a cult favorite than anything — Taco Bell is leveraging its presence in the film's universe to build out a larger brand narrative that includes digital and experiential elements.
Even those less familiar with "Demolition Man" might still have their interests' piqued by the return of Nacho Fries, which quickly became the most successful product launch in Taco Bell's history (though they've been available, and popular, in other countries for years). Taco Bell might be hoping that the blockbuster-themed push makes it less easy to notice that the menu offering, available for just $1 earlier this year, now costs $1.30 à la carte, per the news release.
The "Demolition Man" dining experience capping off the campaign fits into Taco Bell's broader strategy of using special events to hype up new or limited-run products and drum up attention on social media. To promote the Naked Chicken Chalupa last year, the marketer created a New York City "speakeasy" only select fans could gain access to. In August, it also rolled out a "Bell & Breakfast" experience at restaurant locations where consumers could reserve a table ahead of time to try the then-new Naked Egg Taco, which is wrapped in a fried egg as opposed to a shell.
Taco Bell's parent company Yum Brands beat Wall Street's estimates for revenue and profits, but missed same-store sales growth targets in Q1 results reported in May. While $1 menu items like Nacho Fries bolstered Taco Bell's brand awareness, they weighed on the company's margins, according to CNBC.