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Brief Published: 15 May 2013

Taco Bell Joins Snapchat


In an attempt to tap into the lucrative Gen Z market (those born between the mid-90s and 2010), US fast-food chain Taco Bell has relaunched a popular menu item via photo-messaging app Snapchat.

The brand took to social media site Twitter at the end of last month to publicise its Snapchat membership and reveal that it would be sending 'friends' a secret announcement via the app the following day. The chain then sent an image through the app – a mobile platform favoured by teens that lets users send temporary images that self-destruct within 10 seconds – announcing that the popular Beefy Crunch Burrito had been re-added to its menu.

"People are obsessed with [the] Beefy Crunch Burrito, so Snapchat seemed like the right platform to make the announcement," Taco Bell's director of social and digital Tressie Lieberman told US news website Mashable. "Sharing that story on Snapchat is a fun way to connect with the fans that we are thrilled to have. It's all about treating them like personal friends and not consumers."

Other food brands that have utilised Snapchat include New York-based frozen yoghurt chain 16 Handles. It invited fans to send an image of themselves tasting the product to the brand's Snapchat account before purchasing to receive a discount coupon – the only catch being that they had to show the image to the cashier before it was automatically deleted.

The app is likely to become more popular with brands, particularly as a tool to launch time-sensitive and exclusive promotions to users in the vicinity. Read more about this in Future Mobile Trends.

Interactive advertising campaigns that encourage consumer participation are a useful way for brands to engage with customers, while creating social media buzz. For more on this, see 2013 Marketing Trends and our industry trend Consumer-Creators, or see how brands are increasingly using platforms such as Vine for their advertising and marketing needs.

Taco Bell