Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo Snapchat Lens Was Viewed 224 Million Times

It's the top campaign in the app's history

Taco Bell has shattered a Snapchat record. Last week, the brand launched a sponsored lens campaign that turned consumers' heads into a giant taco shell to celebrate Cinco de Mayo—resulting in 224 million views in one day.

Ryan Rimsnider, senior manager of social strategy for Taco Bell, said that his team spent six weeks working directly with Snapchat to create the lens. Adweek has previously reported that the ad format costs $750,000 for holidays and big-ticket events like the Super Bowl.

"We've had the vision internally at Taco Bell for quite some time and finally had the right moment to execute," he said.

The fast food brand's campaign was live for one day in the U.S., and Snapchat said it was the most viewed Snapchat Lens to date, beating Gatorade's Super Bowl campaign that had more than 165 million views.

The average user played with Taco Bell's ad for 24 seconds before sending it as a "snap." In terms of unique plays—or the number of times individual people interacted with the ad—the campaign generated 12.5 years' worth of play in a day, according to Snapchat.

Taco Bell and Snapchat credit the campaign as a success because the taco-shaped head was subtly branded and automatically played the chain's famous "bong" sound.

Rimsnider added that the brand did put a bit of paid advertising outside of Snapchat behind last week's campaign that encouraged people to interact with the app.

Taco Bell has been on Snapchat for three years and used it to launch the Quesalupa, a cheese-stuffed chalupa as part of its Super Bowl campaign earlier this year.

The chain was also the first marketer to use Snapchat's on-demand geo-filters to orchestrate six events around the launch of the Quesalupa. On-demand filters launched in February as a way for marketers to set up their own campaigns with specific targeting parameters. Prices for the filters start at $5 and vary based on the time and size of the campaign.

"The content is expected to be lightweight and humorous, and the platform empowers you to be nimble and efficient in creation," Rimsnider said. "That doesn't mean it's not an artful craft however—my team puts a ton of thought into story development from conception to storyboarding and being constantly curious on how to be even better on the next one."