Taco Bell Turns the Lights Out

Using unorthodox methods, Taco Bell has drawn attention to its new app, which now supports mobile ordering. The Mexican fast-food chain, to promote the app, turned the lights out on each of its social media sites aside from endorsing one key message: get the app.


By “turning the lights out,” however, I don’t mean deleting Taco Bell’s presence entirely on social media. The app has instead locked its main account under a different name, and starting a new account, seemingly deleting all posts on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, aside from those referring to the new app. Each social medium featured the hashtag #onlyintheapp and a link to download the app. The goal of this strategy was to reach the pre-existing fans first, and then inspire a conversation among followers. Mainly, this strategy targeted millennials, who are a large subset of Taco Bell’s costumers.

With this approach, Taco Bell has tried to address the desires of its costumers to “meet them where they are” and customize their food items. The new app allows users to access every ingredient in their food and alter them with the touch of a button. This feature may increase the accuracy of orders, and enhance the efficiency of a user’s Taco Bell experience, as the users can order ahead and pick their food up to eliminate wait time. In the future, we can expect Taco Bell to also unveil a new catering program and a loyalty program to contribute to the changes they have been making.

Taco Bell, in the past, has not had outstanding advertising or marketing plans. Recently they had introduced a breakfast menu and have been fairly active on social media. However, with the addition of this mobile app, Taco Bell is now leading the way in fast-food technology as the only fast food restaurant to possess the option to purchase food in advance. For this reason, I think it may have been a smart move for Taco Bell to put such a focus on the new technology with social media, despite the followers they may have lost in the process. It was a bold and different strategy to suit the unique technology that Taco Bell has put forth.


Horovitz, B. (2014, October 28). Taco Bell unveils mobile ordering. Retrieved October 29, 2014.

Johnson, L. (n.d.). Why Did Taco Bell Just Wipe Out Its Social Media Accounts? Retrieved October 28, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/will-taco-bells-social-media-shut-down-get-millennials-attention-mobile-16105

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