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The name of the next Taco Bell Dorito taco is a mouthful: Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.
The chain is announcing the latest in the Doritos Locos Taco line in just as lengthy a format: a four to six-minute-long movie ephermal app Snapchat. Taco Bell said a film of length is a first for Snapchat, which is known for seconds-long messages that disappear after they're viewed. The new taco will be available May 1, with TV, radio and additional forms of advertising launching then, but the social media campaign is kicking off today.
The movie, called "Rush Order," has a script and a cast of Vine and Snapchat "influencers," said Nick Tran, social-media lead at Taco Bell. The plot is about an employee with a despotic boss who insists the employee find out not only what the next Doritos Locos Taco is, but also acquire one. "Rush Order" was directed by director Jason Zada, co-founder of digital agency Evolution Bureau, which was known for Office Max's Elf Yourself. (He's also known for the interactive short "Take This Lollipop.")
The chain created the film "snap-by-snap" using Snapchat's Stories feature, which makes videos available for only 24 hours after they're first uploaded. Filming of the movie began this morning, and Taco Bell's social-media team, along with the help of Interpublic's Deutsch, added scenes in real time from various locations throughout Los Angeles during the day. The film will conclude at the MTV Movie Awards, just before the start of the show.
An announcement will be made made in the first half of the awards show -- Taco Bell in a longtime sponsor of the broadcast -- during a sponsorship announcement as the program cuts to a commercial break. The announcement will encourage viewers to find out the next flavor by viewing the short flick on Snapchat.
Several marketers have taken to using Snapchat recently, including McDonald's, which in February used the service to announce its new Bacon Clubhouse Burger. Taco Bell also used Snapchat last year to announce the comeback of the popular limited-time Beefy Crunch Burrito.
The latest Dorito taco introduction was more about "innovation on the inside" and flavor combinations, said Stephanie Perdue, VP-brand marketing. In the case of this taco, the innovation is the use of spicy chicken.(The three preceding Doritos Locos Tacos -- the Nacho, Cool ranch and Fiery tacos -- all used ground beef). "We heard from customers that they wanted chicken, and we also heard from them about pairing flavors," said Ms.Perdue, adding that this newest taco was the highest-rated during testing among the Doritos tacos.
Mr. Tran said that the chain's marketing strategy with the Doritos Locos Tacos line is to do something innovative with each new introduction. Since the chain had already used Snapchat for an earlier launch, the chain decided to innovate within the platform itself with an "innovation from the inside" that parallels the product's novelty.
Taco Bell has been among the most active and pioneering in social-media marketing, a strategy that helped it be named Ad Age's Marketer of the Year in 2013.
"One thing we're serious about is how we engage with our fans -- we engage them the way they expect to be engaged," said Tressie Lieberman, director-social and digital marketing. "We do it in a way that provides value back the audience."