Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Interacting With Other Brands Is A Win-Win

Taco Bell’s recent exposure for its epic sandwich, the breakfast Waffle Taco, earns another gold star.

Taco Bell’s new sandwich has already generated plenty of buzz, including a trending hashtag and featured articles. It shouldn’t come to a surprise – Taco Bell has been winning the social media game the past few years with various campaigns like Thanks for Suing Us and their free taco giveaway in Alaska. This particular product launch caught our attention because of the clever marketing associated with the new product. So clever, it’s been gaining lots of buzz online.

In a way, this sandwich reminds us of the McDonald’s McGriddle - a competing breakfast sandwich wrapped in a mini pancake. Perhaps that is the point? So what’s Taco Bell’s strategy to promote their new product and generate hype online? By name-dropping the well-known McDonald’s mascot – Ronald McDonald.

This has become a popular social media trend among big brands the past year, poking fun at other brands via social media to generate hype. This may initially seem arcane - why would brands interact with each other? Aren’t they competing for the same market? Well, the brilliant thing is, when brand-on-brand interaction exists, additional exposure benefits both parties.

In their new marketing campaign, Taco Bell has chosen to feature the “everyday men” … that just happen to have the same name as the McDonald’s mascot - Ronald McDonald. In the ad, various men, all named Ronald McDonald, try the Waffle Taco for the first time and how their approval with outstanding praise. This campaign is outrageous and fun – but why are they promoting it this way? Because Taco Bell’s marketing strategy involves humor. For years now, Taco Bell has been known to do things with a “wink & smile” – something that can be clearly seen in past marketing campaigns. How can we forget Taco Bell’s Eat Your Words campaign. So memorable and playful.

Fortunately for us, Taco Bell isn’t the only contender when it comes to playful stunts. It seems other brands have been jumping on this “wink & smile” bandwagon as well. Not too long ago, Oreo and Kit-Kat had a go and played a friendly game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Recently, Arby’s made a playful tweet about Pharrell William’s Grammy hat with “Can we have our hat back?” And Honda went after multiple brands, including Oreo, Skittles and Lego, with a cheeky and sly marketing campaign that promoted its new minivan. All these stunts earned immediate attention.

With brands going back and forth, consumers get a sense of entertainment and are reminded that social media has a human element. But consumers are not the only ones that are benefiting - the brands are as well, by getting additional reach and exposure. Through playful interaction, brands are increasing their awareness and leads. It inspires us small businesses to do the same – that is why we encourage interaction, any kind of interaction! You don’t necessarily have to interact with just customers – you can benefit from interacting with other brands as well. Remember, there is a human behind that social media account!

As always, we encourage you to leave your comment below and let us know what you think of Taco Bell's cheeky new marketing campaign and Waffle Taco.

You may also like:

Taco Bell - Thanks for Suing Us
Taco Bell Doing It Right With Some Bling 
Taco Bell Wants You To Eat Your Words
Taco Bell Delivers 10 000 Free Tacos To Bethel Alaksa

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