Taco Bell Gives Fans A Valentine’s Gift: Temporary Tattoos

Fast food brand con­tin­ues try­ing to build an authen­tic friend­ship with mil­len­ni­als.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

As mil­lions of Amer­i­can con­sumers buy cards, flow­ers, choco­lates and the like to cel­e­brate the ones they love, Taco Bell says it has mon­i­tored the online behav­ior of its pas­sion­ate young fans and knows pre­cise­ly what they want for Valentine’s Day. This gift is tem­po­rary, but reflects per­ma­nent brand love, Taco Bell says. And, along with a peti­tion for a taco emo­ji and some Snapchat horo­scopes, the brand says it is try­ing to build an authen­tic friend­ship with its fans by giv­ing them what they want and also by inte­grat­ing itself into their lifestyles.


It’s a big com­mit­ment to com­mem­o­rate Cupid’s arrow with tat­too nee­dles, so quick ser­vice chain Taco Bell is offer­ing its pas­sion­ate young fans – who may still have some prover­bial oats to sow – a slight­ly less per­ma­nent alter­na­tive for Valentine’s Day.

In fact, Taco Bell is show­ing Valentine’s Day love to its fol­low­ers by giv­ing away Taco Bell-themed flash tat­toos via Insta­gram, Face­book, Snapchat, and Twit­ter on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 13.

Accord­ing to a Taco Bell rep, the brand will give out “about one hun­dred for free (per­haps more),” and will also be sell­ing the flash tat­toos online on a Taco Bell Flash Tat­toos web­site pow­ered by ecom­merce soft­ware provider Shopi­fy.

Flash tat­toos are metal­lic, jew­el­ry-inspired tem­po­rary tat­toos that last a lit­tle less than a week.

They’re very trendy amongst mil­len­ni­als right now,” the rep added.

On Valentine’s Day Eve, Taco Bell will let its fans know the flash tat­toos are avail­able on its social chan­nels. The posts will include a unique code that allows the first 100 fans to vis­it TacoBellFlashTattoos.com to get the tat­toos for free. There­after, fans can pur­chase tat­toos for $8.99 per sheet, or three sheets for $19.99, on the same web­site. Taco Bell will then mail the flash tat­toos to recip­i­ents, pre­sum­ably mak­ing for a some­what belat­ed valen­tine.

Taco Bell will pro­mote the effort on relat­ed chan­nels, where it has mil­lions of fans/followers, includ­ing: 1.5 mil­lion on Twit­ter, 10.7 mil­lion on Face­book, and 482,000 on Insta­gram.

It’s very sim­ple to pro­mote flash sales across these chan­nels and we’re also for­tu­nate enough to have very pas­sion­ate fans who engage with us on these chan­nels,” accord­ing to Taco Bell’s rep.

Flash tat­toos are pop­u­lar among mil­len­ni­al females in par­tic­u­lar. The brand says it always looks to its “cus­tomers and friends in social media” for inspi­ra­tion and “noticed that flash tat­toos are some­thing that they enjoy incor­po­rat­ing into their per­son­al styles – some even get real Taco Bell tat­toos,” which is what inspired the brand to cre­ate the cus­tom brand­ed flash tat­toos.

Our social strat­e­gy is to tru­ly build an authen­tic friend­ship with our fans, so we’re very excit­ed to gift them with some­thing they’re into, in addi­tion to always mak­ing our food avail­able to them at our restau­rants,” the rep said. “We want our fans to know that while these tat­toos may be tem­po­rary, Taco Bell’s love for its fans is per­ma­nent.”

While Taco Bell calls the prod­uct “flash tat­toos,” the rep notes the brand “worked with our own ven­dor to cre­ate our cus­tom flash tat­toos” and the Taco Bell tat­toos do not come from the brand Flash Tat­toos.

This isn’t the brand’s first flash sale in social media. The rep says the brand has also sold Taco Bell sweat­shirts for Nation­al Taco Day (which is Octo­ber 4) and taco emo­ji t-shirts to pro­mote its cam­paign to get a taco emo­ji, in which it actu­al­ly sub­mit­ted a Change.org peti­tion.

In the peti­tion, Taco Bell notes that Uni­code Con­sor­tium, a non­prof­it that reg­u­lates the cod­ing stan­dards for writ­ten com­put­er text that includes emo­jis, announced it has accept­ed 37 new emo­ji char­ac­ters – includ­ing a taco emo­ji — as can­di­dates for Uni­code 8.0, which is sched­uled for mid-2015.

We need your help con­vinc­ing them THE TACO EMOJI NEEDS TO HAPPEN,” Taco Bell writes. “Why do piz­za and ham­burg­er lovers get an emo­ji but taco lovers don’t? Here’s a bet­ter ques­tion: why do we need four dif­fer­ent types of mail­box­es? Or 25 dif­fer­ent types of clocks? Or a VCR tape and flop­py disk emo­ji? No one even uses those things any­more.”

As of Feb­ru­ary 11, the peti­tion has more than 28,000 sig­na­tures.

We want to seam­less­ly inte­grate Taco Bell into our fans’ lifestyles, whether it’s through our food, mobile app, or unique mer­chan­dise like these flash tat­toos,” the rep says.

The mer­chan­dise the brand sells via flash sales and at www.LiveMasStore.com also ben­e­fits its Taco Bell Foun­da­tion for Teens, which encour­ages teens to fin­ish high school.

In addi­tion, Taco Bell fans unsure of their roman­tic futures this Valentine’s Day might be inter­est­ed to know the brand has start­ed doing Taco Bell horo­scopes via Snapchat.

We’re always look­ing for unique ways to pro­vide our fans with fun con­tent on that plat­form,” the Taco Bell rep says. “In the past, we’ve cre­at­ed games on the plat­form, quizzes and dif­fer­ent sto­ries. Horo­scopes are just anoth­er piece of con­tent we’re explor­ing.”


What do you think of Taco Bell’s effort to show its young fans brand love?

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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