The taco emoji is finally here, and Taco Bell now has an "taco emoji engine" to show for it.
Today, the fast-food company and Deutsch L.A. are debuting a social-marketing blitz that celebrates the recent launch of the long-awaited taco emoji. The Irvine, Calif.-based brand said that it has created 600 pieces of unique content. Eventually, all of the content will then be posted to ta.co, its recently-revamped website.
Here's how it works: People who tweet a picture of a taco emoji with another emoji at the brand's account, for instance, will automatically be sent back a photo or GIF mashing up the two images. If folks tweet a picture of a taco and smiley face, they will then receive an image of a taco wearing sunglasses. In another scenario, tweeting an image of a taco and a satellite sends back a GIF of a satellite shooting out tacos.
There's also an in-store campaign that's more closely aimed at Instagram. On Wednesday, Taco Bell is rolling out four limited-edition "taco holster" packages that wrap around its Doritos Locos tacos to all of its U.S. restaurants.
The fast-food chain hopes its core group of teens and millennials will share the pop-art-oriented wrappers on Instagram.
"They're all meant to be fun, almost collectible pieces. I think they're going to be highly Instagramable," said Marisa Thalberg, chief brand engagement officer for Taco Bell.
Meanwhile, Taco Bell has been advocating for taco-shaped emojis since November 2014 when it set up a Change.org petition. The petition collected more than 33,000 signatures before the Unicode Consortium designed a taco emoji in June.
Numerous brands have put their own twist on emojis, but Taco Bell wanted to make the digital sticker part of the built-in keyboard in smartphones.
"This is about the taco having its rightful place in the official emoji keyboard—this wasn't about us doing a branded thing, this was about the taco itself," Thalberg said. "We had our hopes raised and dashed a few times along the way, but ultimately Unicode came through, and it's here."