Sales are Going Loco at Taco Bell, Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year http://bit.ly/14SOCti
Brian Niccol glances around Taco Bell’s Irvine, Calif., test kitchen as he ruefully recalls the chain’s “food-as-fuel” marketing philosophy before 2012: “Fill them up, move them out.” Commercials relied on “crappy humor” to pitch new products to young men. Or, as he referred to one character in a TV spot: “a 24-year-old white guy being an idiot.”
"We were letting [the brand] become too much of a punchline," said the Taco Bell president.
Late-night comics were given even more fodder when, in January 2011, a class-action lawsuit was filed that alleged the majority of what Taco Bell called “seasoned beef” was ingredients other than meat. The chain, which had just come off its third year of flat sales, ended 2011 with a 1.4% sales decline systemwide.
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