Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Taco Bell Documentary Should Probably Be About Solving Late Night Cravings Quickly And For Only Little Money

The words "Taco Bell" and "documentary" in the same sentence might cause a reader to have a knee jerk reaction and assume that the fast feeder was creating their own version of Chipotle's popular "Farmed and Dangerous" documentary.  I did - after all, the Bell's Cantina Bowls don't exactly pass for an original.  However, it's safe to say that Taco Bell's "Voices of VidCon" documentary won't be mistaken for a sequel of Chipotle's effort.

According to Adweek, "the documentary follows the VidCon journey of several YouTube content creators, including online star Bethany Mota and up-and-comer So Sonia, a singer named Sonia Eryka from Jakarta who wants to make it big in the scene. Eryka was discovered after the fast food chain made a call out on Twitter for a YouTuber who would be interested in sharing his or her story."

How does the VidCon relate to Taco Bell brand in a meaningfully way? Basically, it doesn't.  The connecting formula is that young people watch a lot of YouTube and Taco Bell feeds a lot of young people.  But it's difficult to see how Taco Bell bridges the gap between young people and its brand pillars. 

Contrary to Taco Bell, Chipotle's documentary was completely on-brand, as it was produced to educated consumers about farming and food sourcing, a huge point of pride for the company. 

Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell's director of digital marketing and social platforms, explained that the brand's social strategy "is to be the friend. We want to connect to our audience in a way that relates to them."

Unfortunately, that's only doing half the job.  "Voices of VidCon" fails to connect the audience to the brand.  This problem is typical for "content" marketing strategies.  In order to make themselves interesting, watchable, believable, relevant, personable or perhaps all of the above, most brands are putting on costumes and pretending to be something that day.   

As always, thank you for reading and your feedback.

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