A new breeze is blowing in experiential marketing, bearing the delicious intermingling scents of tacos and truck exhaust. That’s because food and beverage marketers are turning to a (relatively) new urban phenomenon -- the taco truck -- to carry their messages to the masses.
In the latest iteration, Dos Equis is staging a nationwide promotion around the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday using taco trucks. In the “Feast of the Brave,” running from April 25-May 5, Dos Equis is daring consumers to visit the Dos Equis-branded taco trucks to taste “unique” (read: unusual) taco-based dishes and delicacies.
In six cities around the U.S. -- Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami -- local chefs are using ingredients not normally found in the diets of American urbanites to create tacos, the eating of which earns the adventuresome soul different amounts of “bravery points.”
Ingredients include pig’s ear, chicken gizzard, iguana, alligator, crickets and hog stomach. The city that earns the most “bravery points” wins. In each city the promotion is being carried out with well-known local taco truck operators.
The taco truck campaign was pioneered in summer 2010 by Rebel Industries on behalf of Camarena Tequila, which used the mobile eateries to raise awareness for the launch of the new liquor brand. In addition to simply raising Camarena’s profile, the campaign used food to surmount an obstacle associated with introducing a new alcoholic beverage -- no taste tests.
To allow consumers to “taste” the new tequila, Rebel Industries recruited well-known local chefs in cities around the country to create dishes incorporating Camarena Tequila. The taco trucks then distributed the food for free.
The Camarena-branded taco trucks began in Los Angeles and migrated around the country in 2011, including tours of Miami, New York City, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Seattle, often tied into lifestyle events or highlighted with guerrilla street marketing. The Camarena taco truck campaign is continuing in 2012 with a number of new features to keep the experiential marketing program (and tacos) fresh.
Josh Levine, CEO of Rebel Industries, explained: “Rebel Industries always takes inspiration from popular culture. With Camarena, we literally used a vehicle -- the taco truck phenomenon -- that consumers were already enthusiastic about to create a unique and interactive consumer experience. We've built upon that success to expand the program nationwide in 2011 and will continue throughout 2012.”