Taco Bell Rolls Out Breakfast, Challenger Brand Style

April 24, 2014 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

Every party animal knows Taco Bell is the best bet for a 2 a.m. taco, but who knew they were open for breakfast? Nobody. And that’s because they weren’t. But now they are, and they’ve announced their new breakfast rollout in classic challenger brand form. They took on the category killer with a campaign featuring a bunch of guys named Ronald McDonald proclaiming their love for Taco Bell’s new Waffle Taco.


Taco Bell could have gone the conventional route and advertised its new menu sticking with questionable claims about the deliciousness of its new breakfast fare. That’s the way it’s done in the QSR segment. It’s a yawner of a strategy and it rarely delivers impressive results. Instead, Taco Bell put the king of quick breakfasts in its sights and squeezed off a series of rounds that clearly caught the clown off guard. McDonald’s would not return calls from press this week. That’s what happens when a challenger brand launches a sneak attack.

The result is a memorable ad campaign that fast food customers are talking about, and so is the mainstream media. In fact, the free media exposure from the buzz will easily eclipse the media dollars behind the campaign. That alone is a big win. Best of all, McDonald’s response, if any, will need to be measured. Nobody cheers when an 800-pound gorilla beats up a little guy, but everybody loves an underdog.

Mike Sullivan is President of The Loomis Agency in Dallas.

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Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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