Millennial-savvy Taco Bell is using a handful of intriguing targeting tools to reach its audience as soon as they wake up in the morning as part of a campaign to promote its new breakfast menu.
Last week, Taco Bell launched 10 new breakfast items that cost $1 each, including a breakfast bowl with eggs and potatoes, a taco and a flatbread quesadilla as part of its ongoing push to make breakfast at Taco Bell "a thing" since initially launching it in 2014.
"We've honed our media skills over the last couple of years," said Juliete Corsinita, vp of media and brand partnerships at Taco Bell.
One of the more interesting tech companies that Taco Bell is working with is Aki Technologies—a mobile advertising player that tries to "target mobile moments."
Aki first tracks consumers' phone activity and data. For example, it can target ads based on extremely specific behaviors like knowing which apps consumers use first in the morning, their favorite news apps or what time of day someone looks at a breakfast recipe.
"We've started to bring in what we call the moments that matter and adding a mindset layer to what we're doing," said Dave Marsey, evp/managing director of DigitasLBi San Francisco, the agency that handled the campaign's media buying. "We're weaving into morning behaviors around utility."
Taco Bell is also playing around with Wishbone, a mobile app that lets users set up mini polls that ask their followers to pick their favorite photos. When users open Wishbone, they are shown two pictures and are asked which one they like best.
Since last week, the brand has been using the app to ask people to pick between its new flatbread quesadilla or a piece of flat bread.
DigitasLBi's Marsey compared Wishbone to its work with Snapchat in 2013 with Taco Bell as an example of how the brand is an early adopter of new platforms.
Additionally, Taco Bell is also running data-heavy mobile ads across location-based network xAd and Google-owned Waze to zero in on specific groups of consumers.
The fast-food company has worked with both Waze and xAd for a couple of years, and said that this campaign includes tighter calls-to-action than previous efforts—like 'branded' pins on Waze that provide step-by-step directions to nearby stores.
"It has to be customized to the experience and the environment that the user is in," said Corsinita. "We've learned a lot about navigational data and being able to see an immediate impact."
In addition to the mobile ad buy, Taco Bell bought Monday's YouTube masthead and is running video ads on Instagram and Facebook.
"Our initial strategy [from 2014] of owning the initial impression in the morning has worked and being present on experiences that consumers turn to when they first open their eyes in the morning," DigitasLBi's Marsey said.