Wednesday, February 22

Doritos at Taco Bell

At first glance, the title of this post may throw you off ... it certainly threw me off when I read about it yesterday.

In what some say is a somewhat desperate attempt to capture some of the success of McDonald's as of late, Taco Bell announced an interesting alliance with snack food Doritos.  A new taco with a Doritos taco shell.  So you get the goodness of the Taco Bell taco fillings with the goodness of a Doritos-tasting shell.

Interesting ... and part of a year-long celebration of its 50th year.  50!

Now both brands are owned by parent PepsiCo, so the match was relatively easy to negotiate.  From a marketing perspective, it's pretty smart to leverage the equity of a beloved brand (Doritos) onto another one that needs a little help (Taco Bell).  From a taste perspective, if you are a fan of Doritos then I guess you would think it's amazing.  Which could make the partnership so smart -- if Doritos fans who have never been to Taco Bell start to frequent.  Score!

It's a nice dance around the "where's the beef" scandal from last year, but I'm not sure it fits well with the fast food wars to get healthy.  But flavor is flavor, and we know that's why consumers go to these places.

The company says it has no plans to sell Doritos taco shells in store, but I'm not sure I believe it.  Why not continue the partnership onto Doritos territory as well?

Yo Quiero Taco Bell ... What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Author of The Experience Effect series
Professor at NYU

PS - Join us for live tweets during The Academy Awards, Sunday 2/26 at 6:00pm on Twitter at #OscarExp - betcha there will be some Doritos advertising!

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