Among all those digital medias, Instagram is always my favorite one. It is simple, direct, very easy to use and hard to get bored. And among all those brand official accounts, Taco Bell is the one I really like. Even though taco is not my favorite food, I have to admit the brand is doing really good on Instagram with its super colorful and engaging contents, as well as its 1M followers. This America’s best-known Mexican-inspired restaurant chain is good not only at promoting its own account, but also at being the pioneer on Instagram advertising — it is the first restaurant to advertise on Instagram.
On March 2014, Taco Bell launched its new breakfast menu with distinctive ads developed through a collaborative creative production process. Excepting the TV push, radio ads, in-store point-of-purchase and owned social media, the brand also bought its first Instagram advertising to build awareness of the new menu items among 18-44 year-olds. Although the ad was did two years ago, I liked it the first time I saw it and wanted to double tap the screen.
The ad is a series of sponsored photos depicting young people enjoying the morning sunshine with Taco Bell breakfast and their friends in their cars or on a bike. They are of the same vintage warm color filter and totally speaking the “Live Màs” (“live more” or “live life to the fullest”) brand ethos.
Personally, I think the Taco Bell Instagram paid ad was a big success. The ad positions Taco Bell’s breakfast menu not only as delicious but as a fun and engaging social experience. The products are actually not the most obvious concentration of the ad, I have to look very closely to find that tacos and coffee are embedded in the shot, which is the best part — they don’t look like advertising at all! Taco Bell made the ad looks like great photos from Instagram influencers and when people roll up their screens and see those beautiful morning moments with happy faces, they stop to find where they are from and give a heart to those photos. This ad is much better than those conventional ads that are focusing on products.
The success is also well proved by the number according to the Instagram Business Blog. 12.5M of 18-44 Year-old Americans were reached, generated a sizable 29-point lift in ad recall, which is nearly four times higher than control. “We let the concept drive creative production and paired that with what we knew about how people engage on Instagram. What resulted was a powerful visual narrative for our new breakfast menu that was a perfect fit within the Instagram environment.” Said Chris Brandt, the chief marketing officer of the Taco Bell.
Among all those digital media advertising today, those on Instagram are the least annoying ones for me. I truly think it is a good idea for brand to do advertising on it. Ads on Instagram are very effective. Instagram ads are customized, means they are showing to the target audiences automatically according to the accounts they followed and the content they searched. So with good photos or short videos, target audiences can easily engage with the content. And it is even better if the brand has an Instagram account, because the audiences can go to the brand directly and know more about it and follow it. Actually several brands and products I know now were known from the Instagram. I am following many vintage dressing bloggers and vintage clothing stores on the Instagram, and on my Instagram main page, I saw advertising of vintage clothing. If I like the dresses on the photo, I would click into the brands’ account and browse their websites. I also get to know the Jason Markk shoes spray from Instagram ads. I guess it was because I searched the Adidas Stan Smith, then one day I saw the video about Jason Markk product that can spray on the sneakers and protect them from water and dust. I actually needed it badly and bought one on Amazon.
Digital advertising is the trend of brand promotion and the mobile will drive 66% of the growth in digital ad spending over the next five years according to Tim Peterson on AdvertisingAge. But I did some research and found that not many fast casual restaurants are doing Instagram advertising before and right now, even though there is the successful example of Taco Bell. Paid advertising on Instagram is effective on attracting target audiences, increasing brand awareness and transferring paid ads to earned ads, there is no reason to ignore it. Since everyone loves foods, Instagram can be a really great platform for restaurants to promote themselves.