Taco Bell wants to end "calendar inequality" by getting rid of the Taco Tuesday tradition, according to an open letter published on its company blog. The reasoning is that the Yum Brands chain believes tacos should be celebrated and enjoyed on all days of the week rather than just one.
To rally fans to join the cause, the marketer is launching an advertising campaign called "Taco reBELLion" on April 21. The push includes a 60-second hero spot depicting three rival "taco gangs," the Hard Shells, the Soft Shells and the Los Locos, coming together to protest Taco Tuesday via a heavily '80s-influenced dance-off.
Taco Bell is also selling campaign-specific "Taco Any Day" merchandise, such as T-shirts and knit patches, through its online Taco Shop. The brand will integrate a promotional element as well, providing 15% off of one Party Pack purchased via its online portal or mobile app through June 8.
With the new advertising effort that encourages a rebellion against the calendar "inequality" and "bias" of Taco Tuesday, Taco Bell pokes fun at the socially and politically charged brand campaigns that are a hot industry trend at the moment. Taco Tuesday is a custom, whose origins are unclear, of going out to eat tacos or other Mexican food on Tuesdays, with restaurants often offering promotions on these days to lure in diners. In a press statement, Global Chief Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg said "it's time to challenge societal norms and for our fans and their friends to feel empowered to enjoy tacos without limits" in what reads as a riff on the lofty language more marketers are deploying to make an emotional connection with audiences that feel connected to causes, like millennials and Gen Z.
The Party Pack deal, reminiscent of the types of promotions that other Mexican dining brands run for Taco Tuesday, shows Taco Bell angling to drive more business through its online and mobile app offerings. The brand has put a sharper focus on building out a mobile and digital ordering business to keep up in a quickly evolving fast food category and reach tech-savvy and convenience-focused younger consumers.
Early last year, Taco Bell restructured its leadership team to accelerate growth in areas like e-commerce and the development of tools like self-service kiosks, delivery platforms and enhanced back-of-the-house systems. Parent company Yum Brands, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut, is additionally seeking a "new senior leader" to oversee global, digital and technology strategy for the restaurant giant.
Interestingly, some of Taco Bell's recent successful efforts on the digital front have revolved around Taco Tuesday. The brand earlier this year worked with T-Mobile on T-Mobile Tuesday discounts, with the wireless carrier promoting the partnership through TV ads that ran during the Super Bowl. T-Mobile in February claimed the tie-up helped Taco Bell drive record high daily and hourly digital transactions, though specific figures were not broken out.
The merchandise play around "Taco reBELLion" similarly fits into a e-commerce trend that more fast food companies are pursuing and which Yum Brands has helped popularize. Taco Bell sells other gear, including sauce packets and wedding swag — the company operates special cantina locations that provide wedding services — through its Taco Shop, and has previously collaborated with fast-fashion marketer Forever 21 on a line of taco-themed clothing.