UPDATE: June 27, 2023: Taco Bell has shared a 30-second spot that features Paris Hilton and promotes the hotline. It was created with the brand’s creative agency of record, Deutsch LA.
- Taco Bell has partnered with Paris Hilton for the return of the 2000s fan favorite Volcano Menu, according to a press release. The Volcano Menu returns nationwide on June 29 and for Rewards members on June 27.
- The QSR will mark the menu launch with its first-ever hotline. Consumers can call 1-844-THTS-HOT to hear one of six pre-recorded advice messages from Hilton, a celebrity who popularized the catchphrase "that's hot" in the mid-2000s.
- Taco Bell becomes the latest brand to tap into 2000s nostalgia in pairing the return of a fan-favorite menu with a celeb tied with the era. Press materials also tease forthcoming TikTok elements and new music from Hilton as part of the effort.
Taco Bell is utilizing 2000s nostalgia to promote the return of its cult-favorite Volcano Menu, which features extra-spicy items including the Volcano Taco, Double Beef Volcano Burrito and Lava Sauce that were discontinued in 2013. Since then, brand fans have looked to bring back the menu via social media and online petitions, according to the press release, encouraging Taco Bell's latest campaign.
"We're always listening to our fans, and the extensive passion and needs of the Volcano fanbase could no longer go unmet" said U.S. CMO Taylor Montgomery in the press release. "Taco Bell is always looking to deliver on the 'surprise' factor for fans and build on our reputation of choosing authentic partnerships with those who are already mega-fans."
Central to Hilton's participation is a hotline that serves up pre-recorded advice from the heiress and former reality TV star. Several brands, including Olay, State Farm, Mike’s Hard and PepsiCo brand Pure Leaf have also used hotlines — an old-school tactic with its own nostalgic charm — as a way to engage with consumers.
Consumers will also be able to engage with Hilton through TikTok and new music from the entrepreneur, Krystal Hauserman, CMO of Hilton's media company 11:11 Media, said in the release, suggesting Taco Bell will use other mobile and social channels as part of the campaign. In addition, Taco Bell Rewards members will be able to order from the Volcano Menu two days earlier than the general public in another effort by Taco Bell to boost its loyalty program.
Nostalgia remains a key component of brand marketing efforts, with the post-Y2K period typified by Hilton increasingly a campaign focus. Klarna in February partnered with 11:11 Media on a global advertising campaign that starred Hilton and drew on Y2K fashion. Similarly, Kraft Real Mayo partnered with Juicy Couture and Smirnoff Ice released Y2K-inspired merchandise as part of a brand refresh.
Paris Hilton is the most recent celebrity to be featured as part of a Taco Bell campaign. The brand recently re-teamed with Pete Davidson on an advertising push that reimagined the late-night comedian as a morning show host and enlisted LeBron James for its Taco Tuesday “liberation effort.”