- Taco Bell selected Cashmere as its culture agency of record, according to a press release. The full-service marketing agency will handle developing and integrating cultural brand strategy throughout the quick-service organization.
- Through the partnership, the brand will look to participate in culture in new ways, and has previously engaged with culture through sports, fashion, gaming, music and more.
- By adding a specialized AOR to its agency roster, Taco Bell is enshrining culture as an important tactic as it continues to work to forge deeper connections with different consumer groups.
Taco Bell has positioned itself as a lifestyle brand at the center of culture for years, whether through teaming with Forever 21 to design a clothing line, parodying Hollywood to hype its Nacho Fries releases or — most notably — leveling up experiential activations into The Bell, the hotel and resort it operated in August 2019. By teaming with Cashmere, the QSR chain is elevating the role culture plays in its brand strategy with an AOR dedicated to the area, making it perhaps the first company to announce a "culture agency of record."
Along with Cashmere, which was founded in 2003 and has built a reputation for reaching multicultural millennial consumers, Taco Bell will continue working with independent creative agency Deutsch LA and PR giant Edelman, per Ad Age. The suite of agency partners shows Taco Bell betting on independent agencies to navigate its creative and cultural needs at a time when brands face increased pressure for more nuanced messaging amid a rise in so-called "cancel culture." Likewise, the appointment comes as social and technological changes, plus the growth in importance of younger generations, have made fluency in "social nuance" a must-have for brands, per the release.
"Cashmere was our clear first choice to help evolve our brand as culture and social priorities continue to advance," Taco Bell CEO Mark King said in the release. "There's no agency more well-equipped to build authentic connections with diverse and multiethnic audiences, and we feel honored to tap into their superpower."
Cashmere's clients span tech giants (Google, Facebook and Amazon), CPGs (Danone North America), entertainment companies (Netflix, Warner Media) and retail brands (Adidas). The shop offers social media, creative strategy, digital trends, experiential, influencer and public relations services, per the release.
"We are philosophically aligned in our belief that when there is greater harmony between communities and brands, progress can be more fully realized," Cashmere's founder and chairman Ted Chung said in the release.
The focus on cultural impact is shared by Taco Bell and its sister brands KFC and Pizza Hut. Parent company Yum Brands has utilized a strategy based on relevance, ease and distinctiveness that has helped turn its brands into category trendsetters.