Dos Toros knows their memes.
The fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain is using social media to tap into Millennial conversations with some snark and pop culture savvy, an approach following the likes of Wendy’s Twitter account and, more recently, IHOP’s “rebranding” campaign.
And they’re doing it with a burrito.
Pinto the Burrito is Dos Toros’ “unofficial” mascot and de facto Instagram personality. With 118,000 followers, Pinto provides Dos Toros with a gateway into meme (and ultimately, Millennial) culture with a sense of authenticity the traditional Dos Toros brand voice wouldn’t necessarily be able to provide organically. With careful planning, and cross-promotion, Dos Toros has used Pinto as an ally to develop new incentives to win new customers, and drive awareness for the growing brand.
But who is Pinto the Burrito? DMN sat down with Dos Toros founder Leo Kremer to learn more about the marketing behind the mascot:
DMN: So, who is “Pinto The Burrito” to the Dos Toros brand?
Kremer: We like to think of Pinto as Dos Toros’ after hours humor – personified. He’s an irreverent burrito who’s up on popular culture, the latest ‘memage’ and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Pinto is a friend of the brand, sometimes even our unofficial-official mascot, and he’s your friend. Most importantly of all – Pinto is a burrito.
DMN: How did you come up with the idea to bring Pinto to Instagram?
Kremer: Brand mascots span from the Jolly Green Giant to Geico the Geicko, but too often that mascot is simply there to sell. We sought after a light-hearted mascot that you would want to follow and hang out with. If we could make an impactful social personality, we could work on converting those followers, but the most important thing was to find a way to earn real estate in people’s feeds.
DMN: How does Pinto work to elevate the Dos Toros brand?
Kremer: We’ve maintained Pinto’s Instagram as something that continues to create thousands of engagement moments and reaches tens of thousands of reaches every week. The main @DosToros account and @Pintotheburrito are tagging each other more than once a week.
Pinto can be seen on our website, events, social branding etc. Basically, we view Pinto as a high-value touchpoint for millennials and digitally native users, who may be interested in brand differentiation and burrito-related memes.
DMN: What are some of the biggest challenges for a social media campaign like this one?
Kremer: A notable challenge we’ve continued to face (which comes along with general social media) is tracking ROI through the account. We ask questions like: “Did you buy a burrito because of something you saw on Pinto?” There are many comments that suggest it does. We are also very cognizant of the ways we use Pinto to ensure his fans continue to stay highly engaged in his light-hearted jokes and fun product, although ensuring we’re careful to balance this while staying on brand with Dos Toros.
We’ve found great success in starting and continuing the conversation about Dos Toros, proving high-level growth on an Instagram account, and that our sense of humor resonates with hundreds of thousands of people. Pinto has partnered with commercial brands (Sony Music), included on signage for charity partners, and used to promote Dos Toros store openings and LTOs.
DMN: Tell me more about meme culture. It can be tricky for brands to tap into authentically.
Kremer: It’s important to reach people who understand the tone and culture of memes. We find success in studying the accounts we want to emulate. Details really matter with memes – formatting, font, clarity, caption and TIMING. Memes are timely – new ones pop up and circulate every week and must be on-trend, but also not clout chasing, as the kids say.
DMN: Outside of Pinto, how does social media impact your overall marketing strategy?
Kremer: We utilize social media as an essential part of our marketing efforts! We utilize our Instagram as our newsletter –sometimes showing off our amazing menu items, featuring fun content in related meme, announcing specials, new locations and more. We like to keep it fresh in and out of the kitchen and our guests have responded very well. @DosToros is up 30k followers in a year’s time from September 2017 to September 2018.
Social is amazing – it’s real time, visual, bright and most importantly – it’s where our guests are. We make the effort to meet our guests where they already are, and they give the love back to us.
What are some of your favorite social media brand campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!