DNA Seattle Employs ‘Time Squad’ to Hand Out Citations for Taco Time

By Erik Oster 

Need a break from the relentless, daunting onslaught of the depressing news cycle?

Just in time for Taco Tuesday, DNA Seattle has a campaign promoting regional chain Taco Time’s order-ahead app with a goofy gimmick. The schtick is based around a “Time Squad” employed to serve, annoy and inform customers waiting in Taco Time’s drive-through line. Dressed in green, the goofy gaggle of mall security guard-esque officers issue citations to drivers for the time they’ve wasted in line, with customers responding with varying degrees of appreciation and annoyance.

It helps that they included a coupon for a free taco with the stunt.

“At Taco Time we make everything fresh so it can take a little longer than typical quick service restaurants,” Taco Time Northwest director, marketing and advertising Gretchen Weidemann said in a statement. “We were looking for a way to educate our customers in a fun way about the benefits of downloading our app and ordering ahead. This campaign supports our marketing effort with a clever stunt that’s extended into pre-roll ads, online videos, television, and the retail environment. It’s a lighthearted way of highlighting those moments when you can always be doing something better with your time.”


The ads, produced by DNA Seattle’s in-house production shop Petting Zoo appear in various formats, including the full-length video above, pre-roll ads announcing “The only thing worse than waiting for your video is waiting in line for tacos,” and 30-second broadcast ads.

“It’s not every day that you get pulled over in the drive-thru by someone riding a Segway and wielding hot sauce on their utility belt. But we wanted to shake people out of their complacency around waiting in lines and get them to download the app so they can skip the line next time,” DNA executive creative director Steve Williams said in a statement. “We cast improv actors as our squad, gave them some key talking points, then let them loose on real customers for an entire day.”

Earlier this year, of course, FCB New York found an innovative way to promote Burger King’s mobile order app, with its “Whopper Detour” campaign for the fast food monarch.