For over ten years, Taco Bus has been serving authentic Mexican street food in Tampa Bay. Starting with a single food truck (actually a renovated school bus), Chef René Valenzuela has grown Taco Bus into a successful chain of restaurants. As Taco Bus continues to open in new areas that are unfamiliar with the brand, it is important that their “Keeping it Chido” philosophy connects with their customers.
Capture a dominant share of the fast casual Mexican restaurant market for every area we operate in.
Position the Taco Bus brand as the cool and authentic Mexican restaurant choice for fast casual dining.
To execute our marketing strategy, we created a series of experiential marketing campaigns and promotions that would offer “chido” ways for Taco Bus customers to engage with the brand. These events and promotions would occur across all locations. One such event, The El Jefe Burrito Eating Championship, is the subject of this case study.
The El Jefe Burrito Eating Championship was created to be an annual event occurring on National Burrito Day, which is the first Thursday in April. The overall theme would be based on the popular Mexican sport of Lucha Libre.
Our activities were grouped into three phases, each with their own objective.
The first phase was focused on building awareness of the event.
Media Outreach / PR
Absolute Mobile Solutions worked with our media contacts as well as market influencers such as bloggers and social media personalities to promote awareness of the event. As a result, the event was featured on radio, television, and newspapers as well as numerous blogs.
ABC Action News Article - Calling all professional eaters, the Taco Bus ‘El Jefe Burrito Eating Championship’ is here
WFLA Daytime - El Jefe Eating Championship Official Rules and Regulations
Absolute Mobile Solutions designed an official El Jefe Burrito Eating Championship landing page with the rules, waiver and all the details about the big event. We monitored contestants and qualifiers and used social media as the connection between Taco Bus customers and the competition itself. In the two weeks leading up to the event, Taco Bus had more than a 567% increase in traffic to the site from social media alone!
Social Media Marketing
Starting with a content and editorial calendar, the marketing team scheduled content for delivery over a timeline several weeks leading up to the event. We used multiple channels and interacted daily with Taco Bus followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By monitoring reviews and customer feedback consistently, Absolute Mobile Solutions was able to reconnect Taco Bus with its clients and build the hype for the upcoming competition.
Starting with the theme of Lucha Libre, our creative team designed creative for the event that embodied Taco Bus’s brand essence. This creative included in-store promotion items such as posters, flyers, and event buttons.
We met regularly and collaborated with the team at MOSI to devise a design and strategy that would allow the website to not only meet, but exceed the goals set forth in the discovery phase, along with best practices for design and user experience.
Event Marketing / Experiential Marketing
Some elements designed for the campaign included:
The Championship Belt
The grand prize featured a fully customized, one-of-a-kind belt that was created by our design team. The winner who finished their 2.5 lbs burrito first would be given this Wrestling-style championship belt with custom, etched plates to commemorate their victory. Our team started the design by sketching out the elements with pencil on paper and digitized the renderings afterward.
El Jefe Mascot and Costume
To interact even more with Taco Bus fans, Absolute Mobile Solutions decided to bring the aspect of the Lucha to life and created the El Jefe Lucha mascot. We designed a customized, hand-sewn Lucha mask and ordered it from a master crafter from Mexico. Equipped with a purple cape, bright yellow boots, and the El Jefe Championship belt, El Jefe made appearances on social media, and in the streets, to help promote the event!
For the day of the event, Absolute Mobile Solutions designed and printed two large event banners that were to serve as backdrops for the competition and the registration desk.
Social Media Marketing
Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media platforms of late. We wanted to tap into the exclusivity of having our very own Taco Bus geolocation-activated filter. Anybody who visited the location that day could take a Snap with our customized design and share it with their friends with the message, “I Survived El Jefe!”
On the day of the event, Absolute Mobile Solutions gave full service and support for several components of the event to ensure the competition went smoothly, and that it was a fun experience for everyone who attended! By employing our team members to handle the logistics for the major areas of the event, from registration to video production, the 2017 El Jefe Burrito Eating Championship was a success! Our Event Management services included:
Judging / Timing Contestants
RVSPing for Guests
The final phase encompassed activities after the event focused on...
Bumper Sticker Design
Absolute Mobile Solutions wanted to create a limited-edition takeaway for anybody who attended the event. We created a customized bumper sticker and gave it to all the contestants and their friends and family who showed their support at the competition.
Video and Photo Marketing
Absolute Mobile Solutions also took care of the photography and videography services on site. Documenting every aspect of the event, the contestants, we created a photo and video gallery that captured the competition’s spirit! When the horn went off the and competition started, Absolute Mobile Solutions provided a Facebook Live Video and broadcasted it on the Taco Bus! Absolute also recruited judges from the Tampa Bay community to make sure the competition was won fairly and squarely!
The competition boasted nearly 30 finalists who competed in the main event for the championship prize! Members of the media, friends, and families gathered at the Taco Bus location to cheers on their friends and partook in the festivities.
El Jefe Sales - +30.6% in one month!
Reputology improvement - +13% average online customer satisfaction rating
Total social media post impressions – 56K+
Social media traffic to the website increased by 567%
“This was such a spectacular event, with a large attendance! We are looking forward to next year’s competition and growing it even more, in celebration of National Burrito Day. Absolute Mobile Solutions, through tireless marketing and event promotion, were able to bring success and elevate the Taco Bus brand and its relationship with its customers."