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March 30, 2014

Taco Bell Breakfast

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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I have to take this moment to commend Taco Bell for their latest ad campaign. They’ve launched Taco Bell breakfast and are using Ronald McDonald for testimonials. Brilliant.

The catch: Taco Bell has scoured the country for men named Ronald McDonald – real life Ronald McDonald’s – not the clown that’s the front man for McDonald’s restaurants. No offense to Ronald the clown, but, this is a home run for Taco Bell…

So Taco Bell has each Ronald McDonald trying one of their new breakfast selection and remarking how much they like it. What a great idea!

Reason number one: The named spokesperson for your competition is endorsing your product. Name recognition is still quite powerful, but, in this case, it’s just plain clever.

AND, these are real people, so, Taco Bell also gets the benefit of authenticity as well. Ronald McDonald as a clown is fun, but, Ronald McDonald as your next door neighbor is a real value endorsement. Word of mouth… a winner…

Reason number two: McDonald’s breakfast has been around longer than any other fast food restaurant’s breakfast. Nobody’s breakfast has a consumer following like McDonald’s.

If not for the fact that I like this ad campaign, I would not be interested in fast food mexican breakfast. But, because it appears they went to real people – attached an iconic name to the person – I’m actually going to try it.

Set back: Having tried some of the food, my instincts were right – not so great. The burrito and the waffle taco were pretty bland and thrown together. And of course, GREASY! However, the Cinnabon bites were really good. In a pinch, I might have those again.

They picked the right bullseye. This wouldn’t have had as big an impact if the targets were Burger King or Wendy’s, but, if they’re next…

If I were Taco Bell, I’d try to take ‘em all down. They’re off to a good start, but, they’ll need to sustain good advertising to get people through the doors… the actual food is not going to keep people coming back. Or create better food…

So Taco Bell gets an A+ for advertising and an F for food. Figure that out…