2 Min Read
The ‘Taco Tuesday’ Tussle
“Taco Wednesday” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
For decades, families and friend groups have used Taco Tuesday as a weekly excuse to chow down on the popular Mexican dish and maybe even sip a margarita.
Few restaurants shell out more tacos than Taco Bell. But the Mexican fast-food behemoth has never been able to leverage the famous phrase Taco Tuesday to lure in customers. That’s because since the 1980s, a much smaller restaurant chain called Taco John’s has owned the trademarks to it.
Taco Bell is taking steps to change that through its Liberate Taco Tuesday campaign.
Earlier this month, Taco Bell made headlines by filing petitions with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Taco John’s trademarks, thereby freeing anyone to use Taco Tuesday however they choose.
Taco Bell is no stranger to publicity. The restaurant tricked millions when it announced a fake purchase of the Liberty Bell as an April Fool’s prank. In 2011, it ran a full-page ad in the New York Times thanking a law firm for suing them over subpar ingredients.
Taco Tuesday on Trial
Before filing the petitions, Taco Bell recognized that a massive corporation suing a much smaller business could generate negative media coverage and took several steps to put a positive spin on the story.
First, it recruited NBA superstar and massive Taco Tuesday fan Lebron James to the movement, even quoting him in a press release announcing his commitment to the cause. It also created an FAQ page to its website explaining the move.
But most importantly, Taco Bell wisely positioned the move in the context of its customers. Obviously, Taco Bell will benefit from the ability to use “Taco Tuesday” in promotions. But by touting the benefits to all who celebrate Taco Tuesday, Taco Bell made the legal action more palatable.
Taco Bell’s lighthearted brand identity, reinforced by comical advertisements and a history of fun stunts, also helps the public get behind the campaign not just on Tuesdays – but every day.