Industry News | February 28, 2011

Taco Bell Is Talking

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The Taco Bell employees, restaurant managers, and franchisees who serve more than 36.8 million customers each week across the country are coming together to share the facts about the ingredients in its seasoned beef recipe.

The chain is launching its "Talk" campaign, an integrated national marketing effort that includes 30-second and 15-second TV spots, terrestrial and Internet radio ads, online keyword buys, and social media support, as well as Hispanic broadcast spots.

The commercials feature actual Taco Bell employees, restaurant managers, and franchisees—representing the more than 150,000 team members and 350 franchise operators—sharing the straight facts about Taco Bell’s seasoned beef.

In the ads, an employee says, “Our seasoned beef is 88 percent premium ground beef and 12 percent signature recipe. If you want to see that signature recipe, go to tacobell.com. It’s right there.” Taco Bell’s website includes detailed information regarding its seasoned beef recipe of 88 percent beef and 12 percent seasonings, spices, water, and other ingredients. The role of these ingredients is explained in a frequently-asked-questions section on the site, and nutritional information and the complete seasoned beef signature recipe are also included.

“As a third-generation franchisee of the Taco Bell brand, I’m extremely proud of the food we serve and want everyone to know exactly what’s in our seasoned beef,” says Kyle Cook, restaurant general manager of Lord and Cook Ventures and a Taco Bell franchisee who is featured in the ad. “These ads show real employees who serve our food everyday and are passionate about the quality of our seasoned beef.”

The ads also include an offer for an $.88 Crunchwrap Supreme—symbolic as it’s the same percent of premium ground beef used in our seasoned beef recipe. The offer is available at participating locations between February 27, 2011 through March 5, 2011. Limit two per person per visit. Prices may vary. The regular suggested price for the Crunchwrap Supreme is $2.39.

“When we first learned of the beef lawsuit, we immediately launched an online campaign and newspaper ads with the headline ‘Thank You for Suing Us,’ and shared the recipe of our seasoned beef to set the record straight. Next, to thank our Facebook community of our most loyal customers, we offered them a free Crunchy Beef Taco,” says David Ovens, chief marketing officer at Taco Bell.

“We're pleased that according to our research, the customers who saw these responses have reacted favorably. However, there are still many people who haven't heard our beef quality facts," Ovens says. "We want all our customers to know the truth and we’re taking swift action with our ‘Talk’ campaign.”