- Taco Bell debuted the new limited-edition menu item Nacho Fries on Jan. 25, according to a news release, and to promote the launch, the fast food chain has released a 90-second trailer for a fake conspiracy theory film starring actor Josh Duhamel. The full trailer can be on a dedicated landing page and on YouTube.
- In the trailer for “Web of Fries,” Duhamel plays a family man who wonders why Taco Bell doesn’t serve fries and uncovers a “Big Fries” conspiracy in which the “burger people” are trying to keep Nacho Fries under wraps.
- Taco Bell hosted a Nacho Fries Premiere in New York City, where fans could make reservations for show times on OpenTable and enjoy an immersive “Web of Fries” experience.
“They're like no other fries in the industry, swapping ketchup for cheese and salt for spice.” That’s how Business Insider described Taco Bell’s new Nacho Fries, which have been available outside the U.S. for some time. Their entry into the U.S. market puts Taco Bell, long a fast food outlier that serves Mexican food, more in direct competition with burger-and-fries chains, like McDonald’s and Burger King.
While the unique nature of Nacho Fries could help drive interest, Taco Bell is also betting on a major marketing campaign to ensure consumers who are used to satisfying their cravings for fries at a burger chain know they now have another option. The trailer for a fake conspiracy film reflects Taco Bell's recognition that younger consumers are more likely to pay attention to entertaining digital content than a traditional 30-second TV ad. A number of other brands have similarly bet on Hollywood-like content, including H&M and Dove.
Taco Bell continues to ramp up special experiences that can be reserved via OpenTable, suggesting the strategy is working so far. Last year, customers could make a reservation for the chain's Test Kitchen, for the launch of the Naked Egg Taco and for National Taco Day. Taco Bell’s integrated marketing strategy combining video and out-of-home (OOH) experiences could drive engagement by creating shareable moments.
Other fast food brands have used similar experiences to lure customers. White Castle has been hosting Valentine’s Day dinners for more than 25 years and is partnering with OpenTable this year to offer reservations.
The new quirky menu item with a $1 price tag also has the potential to win with millennials, who’ve had a rocky relationship with fast food as these consumers seek out healthier offerings. With its extensive dollar menu, quirky menu items, like the Doritos Locos Taco, and the opening of cantina-style restaurants that serve alcohol, Taco Bell has clearly positioned the brand to appeal to younger consumers, a different direction than some other fast food chains that try target to families.
Nacho Fries, which are topped with Mexican spices and served with warm nacho cheese sauce. will be available as an a la carte menu item for $1 for a limited time. The fries are also served Supreme for $2.49 or Bell Grande for $3.49 with beef, pico de gallo, nacho cheese and sour cream, and in a $5 box with a Doritos Locos Taco, Cheesy Gordita Crunch and a medium drink. Taco Bell plans to roll out 20 additional $1 items in 2018.