Taco Bell is defending its brand against a lawsuit with a full on media blitz that combines print ads, PR and social media channels to get the public’s attention.
A lawsuit originating from a California-woman alleges that Taco Bell’s beef filling for its tacos isn’t everything it appears to be – specifically that it is made up mostly of fillers and only 35% actual beef, according to media reports.
Taco Bell responded Friday by placing full-page advertisements in the country’s largest daily newspapers, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The text-based ad cheekily thanks its newfound enemies for the lawsuit, because it gives them the chance to talk about their product, which the company asserts is 88% beef and another 12% of “Mexican spices,” water, yeast, oats, sugar and other innocuous sounding ingredients.
A YouTube video message by the restaurant’s president, Greg Creed, repeats the message of the ad, revealing the “secret” Taco Bell recipe because, “I want you to have all the facts.” He also thanks the chain’s weekly “35 million loyal customers” for their continued support, another play to demonstrate how silly this lawsuit must be. Creed also worked the morning talk show circuit, a routine PR must when your brand is threatened.
In addition to compiling all the materials for the campaign on its website, the company also posted the video and a link to its statement on its Facebook page where it has about 5 million fans.
It would be a shame if the lawsuit turned out to be accurate, but bravo to Taco Bell on a well-played marketing counterattack to share its side of the story. It seems to have taken all the lessons of the past few years (Domino’s comes to mind) to perfect their response. The tone – not overly confident, nor reticint – seems spot on as well.