Yum Brands/Taco Bell: Taco Bell Breakfast Launch


Client: Yum Brands/Taco Bell
Product: Taco Bell Breakfast
Category: Restaurants, Fast Food, Grocery Stores
Agency: DigitasLBi
Country: United States
Year: 2014


Campaign Summary

In 2014, Taco Bell broke into the early daypart market by offering breakfast.

On launch day, March 27th, the brand leveraged high-impact and rich-media placements within its targets’ early-morning routines to capture attention and to make sure consumers everywhere knew Taco Bell Breakfast had arrived.

Work-day morning habits are deeply ingrained. It’s the time of day when consumers are actually anxiety-ridden commuters who are just trying to get out the door and arrive at work on time. It’s difficult to get their attention on any medium, but Taco Bell discovered that one of the platforms they engage with first is the mobile one—either smart phone or tablet.


Objective and Context

Prior to launch, Taco Bell was not a competitor in the breakfast daypart, long dominated by McDonald’s.  

At launch, it kept its target, of adults ages 18 to 44, broad in order to go beyond regular Taco Bell customers and try to convert all breakfast eaters. Their smartphones are the first thing 80 percent of these adults touch in the morning to check the weather, social media, news and traffic. Therefore, the strategy was nearly 100% mobile.


Creative Strategy

Taco Bell had been testing breakfast items in select markets prior to officially unveiling Taco Bell Breakfast. From those tests, the brand learned that mobile drove more engagement than desktop, particularly when the marketing included geo-fencing. The breakfast messaging during the morning resonated best on social platforms. 

When the national campaign broke at the end of the first quarter, results were watched closely for more than three months so that learnings would inform the new items Taco Bell would add to the breakfast menu during the third quarter. 

Through partners, the brand was able to execute multiple rich-media units, 100% dayparted, and geo-targeted to a user’s location. These creative and media tactics led to increased engagement with the brand.

Partner placements were as follows:

  • Instagram: Taco Bell was the first quick-serve restaurant to execute paid placement within Instagram on launch day, reaching over 12 million unique users.
  • Weather: Custom-branded background integration went into the Weather app where peak traffic is from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Pandora: A mobile-first impression takeover was implemented with a swipe to reveal mobile-rich media as well as heavy volumes of mobile audio everywhere.
  • Yelp: Mobile-reach blocks were employed in the a.m. daypart with expandable mobile-rich media.
  • ESPN: Taco Bell snagged 100% share-of-voice of the SportsCenter app on key days of the week throughout the flight.
  • Waze: High-impact takeovers were in place to capture commuters on their way to work.

Of the $5 million media budget, 97% went to mobile as one of the campaign's partners had a cross-platform product. This was the closest the brand could get to achieving a 100% mobile strategy.



The campaign achieved the following results:

  • Strong breakfast sales on launch day and subsequent months.
  • A 243% lift in social mentions on the day of launch.
  • A 416% lift in social impressions on the day of launch.
  • More than 168,000 new audience members.
  • 1.53 billion earned digital impressions.
  • One milion likes on Instagram, resulting in more than 30% follower growth.




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