Taco Bell Goes Cinematic With Ad Campaign

The fast-food chain that asks consumers to “think outside the bun” in its TV ads, is thinking outside of the (TV) box. For the first time, Taco Bell is turning to cinema as it ramps up its “Why Pay More” campaign to push nine menu items priced at 79 cents, 89 cents and 99 cents. The new ad, dubbed “Roosevelts,” referring to the president pictured on the dime, debuted June 26 in National CineMedia’s FirstLook prefeature program across 171 markets. The Taco Bell spot, created by Draftfcb Organe County, will also be seen on NCM’s lobby entertainment network of plasma screens located in movie theater lobbies.

Like many cinema advertisers, Taco Bell is using the cinema to break its new ad before rolling it out to TV a week later.

Targeting younger adults, the high-energy, music video–style ad (“It’s all about the Roosevelts, baby”) airs before upcoming summer blockbusters Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen (which grossed more than $60 million on opening day) and Public Enemies.

“If you look at the demos of who goes to the movies, [they] match up perfectly with our target for the Why Pay More campaign,” said Debbie Myers, vp of media for Taco Bell. “We love the idea of a captive audience. I’m sure we’ll continue to consider cinema in our media mix,” she added.

Up until now, the number of quick-service restaurants that have run on national cinema has been small. Both Wendy’s and Burger King have run cinema ads in the past. But now that the cinema networks have achieved national scale, more QSRs are giving cinema a second look.

According to NCM research, 74 percent of cinema patrons eat out either before or after a movie, and 88 percent of NCM’s movie audience is within three miles of a Taco Bell. Those moviegoers are considerably more likely than the average person to be a frequent visitor to Taco Bell, per Mediamark Research.