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Big Ben Chimes Again
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Edelman was tasked with driving the mass awareness and buzz for Taco Bell's first London restaurant openings, in a way that felt relevant to Taco Bell but also to the everyday Londoner.
Taco Bell is a successful US mexican inspired fast food brand, which had begun its expansion across the UK but had not yet set foot in London.
In food obsessed London, most people wouldn’t notice the arrival of another American food chain.
Creating hype around the opening in a city where restaurants open every day was going to be a challenge. Not to mention the fact the Londoners are proudly territorial – it was going to take a charming and cheeky way-in to break through those stiff upper-lipped barriers!
Strategy & Execution
Big Ben – possibly London’s most iconic landmark – was down for repairs. For four years, London would be missing the classic hourly chimes (known as The Westminster Quarters) which offer a soundtrack to the city, accompanying Londoners on their way to work and delighting visitors every day.
What better time for the world’s other great bell – Taco Bell – to make their first appearance in the capital?
We wanted to make Londoners believe – just for a moment – that their beloved Bell had sprung back to life.
To do this, we mimicked the sound of Big Ben to capture the public’s bewilderment and create playful, sharable online content to reveal that is was in fact Taco Bell who had offered up their bell.
First, we made Taco Bell’s iconic bell logo disappear from all its online platforms, prompting social conversation and building suspense around the brand’s activities. Then, we recreated the chime of Big Ben in a bold, audacious, one-of-a-kind stunt, designed to delight passers-by and earn the media’s attention.
Key media targets and London-based influencers were also invited to attend a launch party at the Hammersmith restaurant two days before it opened to the general public.
Earned media impressions:
• 30 media attendees to the media grand opening event
• 40 influencer social posts
• Reach of over 500,000 from influencer posts
• 62 pieces of earned social coverage with a total reach of 38.7M
• Online searches for Taco Bell up increased x 6.25 in activation week (as compared with the previous week). That’s an 84% increase.
• Staff serving tacos non-stop for 8 hours on opening day, before there was a single gap in the queue (Hammersmith branch)