A Twitter account usually known for its humor, fan engagement and clever graphics went dark earlier this week. Taco Bell had the Internet buzzing about a big announcement on Tuesday morning that was a first of its kind for a fast-food chain.
Taco Bell unveiled a new mobile app that allows customers to place orders for pickup, whether you dine in or drive-thru.
Taco Bell’s Twitter pictures have been completely black since hours before the announcement, and its entire tweet count is gone with #OnlyInTheApp in its profile. In addition, Taco Bell’s Facebook fan page is completed wiped and its Instagram account went dark with nine images that spell out a message to fans: “THE NEW WAY TO TACO BELL ISN’T ON INSTAGRAM. IT’S #ONLYINTHEAPP.”
As an added piece to this complex puzzle, Taco Bell moved its Twitter handle and 1.4 million followers to @TotallyNotHere for the time being while @TacoBell is a new, cleared out account. The Taco Bell app is currently the seventeenth most downloaded on the App Store, sitting above other huge apps including Google Maps, Spotify and Twitter.
Just as people were starting to notice this on Tuesday morning, Taco Bell posted a single tweet and Facebook post announcing mobile ordering. Its website mirrored the social networks and was completely black for a few hours until a message promoting the app was posted on the site’s landing page.
As an open Taco Bell addict, I felt obligated to download the app to see what it was all about. Although I haven’t actually used it yet to pick up some Taco Bell of my own, I have to admit that it is pretty cool.
The app, which is pretty visually impressive in my opinion, contains Taco Bell’s entire menu and works similarly to any other mobile ordering app with the ability to add extra or remove any ingredients on each item. Although this concept isn’t completely brand new (Chipotle and Papa John’s have had apps for a while now), Taco Bell is the first national fast-food chain to launch a mobile ordering app.
Personally, I think this is innovative and a new direction that the fast-food industry may inevitably head in. I’m not only impressed with the app itself, but I’m fixated with how the brand went about unveiling it. I could probably do without mobile ordering for fast food, (after all, you’ll be lucky to get your meal a whole 15 seconds sooner) but that’s not the takeaway from this post.
The creativity, planning and flawless execution that went into this “blackout” campaign is what is making it so successful. It’s original, and it’s fun for consumers to follow along as new things are happening in real time. (I’m not going to lie…I was definitely following along Tuesday morning at my desk.)
What do you like or dislike about this social media campaign?