Industry News | April 9, 2010

Taco John's Returns To Its Roots

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Taco John’s, a quick-service restaurant located in 24 states, primarily in the Midwest, is introducing a new marketing campaign called My Taco John’s, which will be represented by a new motto, “My Town. My Taco John’s.”

Ever since Taco John’s franchises began opening in 1969, the company was focused on small, suburban and rural towns, rather than large urban areas; thus, many customers who grew up with the Taco John’s brand remain loyal, even after leaving their smaller towns for bigger cities.

“Customers who grew up in these small towns were very loyal to Taco John’s,” says Renée Middleton, vice president of marketing for Taco John’s. “Then as they started moving around, we still hear from them, even if they move from L.A., where we don’t have Taco John’s because they think of the Taco John’s where they grew up.”

Based on its customers’ proven loyalty to the chain, Taco John’s is implementing the My Taco John’s theme, with the help of its advertising agency partner Lawrence & Schiller, in order to cash in on the cult feeling that Taco John’s has created within its fan base.

Through a new digital platform called My Town Mania, Taco John’s will be executing a customer loyalty rewards program in the hopes that patrons will latch on to the new marketing campaign.

“[Customers can] build up loyalty points and achieve different levels of mania,” Middleton says. Based on their fandom, ranging anywhere from newbie status to maniacal customer, patrons can earn points based the number of times they visit Taco John’s, what they purchase, and based on what tasks they complete that the My Town Mania program offers.

The chain is also implement new advertisements in order to pump up the My Taco John’s theme.

“One way that we’re bridging the digital component with the actual mass media campaign that we think is kind of interesting is through new commercials that end with a customer holding up a sign that says ‘My’ next to a Taco John’s,” says Tom Helland, senior vice president of client relations at Lawrence & Schiller. “One of the ways that the people that engage in our digital marketing can earn points is by having a photograph of them standing in front of their local Taco John’s with a ‘My’ sign. We’re encouraging customers to actually participate in the campaign much like we’ve demonstrated on TV.”

The My Taco John’s campaign will debut in July at

By Jill Watral

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