On March 5, 2013, Aerva’s software platform, AerWave, for social media and digital out-of-home was used to kick-off a 5-week campaign to allow users to send their picture to the digital billboard in Times Square, NY. Taco Bell’s team also uses Aerva’s moderation engine to filter photos.
Acceptable pictures of users’ expressions when they taste the new product, Cool Ranch Doritos Taco, with Twitter hashtag #wow and #coolranchdlt or #duh #coolranchdlt are viewed and approved for display on the Clear Channel digital billboard.
Once approved an automatic Twitter response from Aerva’s system is sent to the user to ask for permission for use on the billboard. Aerva’s Keepsake Platform is used to capture images of the tweeted photos as displayed on the billboard and used in a searchable and shareable Keepsake image gallery—an ideation that Aerva popularized since it unveiled the Keepsake Platform in 2010. Aerva executed this campaign with creative input from Digitas, the digital agency of record for Taco Bell.
In March 2012, Aerva helped execute the social media and digital out-of-home campaign for Doritos Locos Tacos, the most successful product in Taco Bell’s history. The most appropriate tweets were shown on two digital billboards, in Times Square and on Sunset Blvd, after receiving user’s permission.
According to Taco Bell, Doritos Locos Taco has sold more than 350 million Nacho Cheese tacos since the launch a year ago, and the tacos are credited with raising same-store sales 8% for the year at the 5,600-unit chain (with just 10 months of sales in 2012)—far ahead of most other major fast-food chains. Restaurant industry analysts say the line has already become a mega-franchise — with just one product.
Sales were so big, Taco Bell added 15,000 restaurant jobs in 2012, according to Taco Bell CEO, Greg Creed. Partner PepsiCo, maker of Doritos, had to add lines at its factories to meet demand.
The positive user response of Doritos Locos Tacos product launch campaign influenced the targeted demographics who are very social media savvy and took special interest in seeing their tweets on digital billboards. It appears, this year, social media is abuzz after months of building anticipation for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos and the campaign to see fans’ pictures from Twitter or Instagram on giant digital billboard in Times Square will only add to the buzz and market success for Taco Bell.