- Taco Bell is bringing back its Nacho Fries for a limited time beginning Jan. 24 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the product's launch, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. Taco Bell said it's bringing back the menu offering due to consumer demand and the "waves" that fans made across social media.
- The fast-food brand made the announcement via a "leaked" confidential internal memo to its team members, also known as "fryologists."
- Starting "Fryday" (Jan. 18), select fryologists in 10 markets will be giving away the menu item for free. The surprise orders will be sealed with signature stickers.
Like the McRib before it, Taco Bell's Nacho Fries appear to be becoming a favorite among diners, but also remain elusive, only periodically popping up rather than being a menu staple. Taco Bell has continually played up this exclusivity in its marketing, now by releasing a top-secret, "leaked" memo. The fryologist deployment part of the latest campaign could help Taco Bell drum up excitement on social media, which the company is likely hoping will also translate into foot traffic with the free giveaway.
Taco Bell first debuted Nacho Fries in a similarly dramatic way last January with a 90-second trailer for a fake conspiracy thriller film starring actor Josh Duhamel. In "Web of Fries," Duhamel plays a family man who wonders why Taco Bell doesn't serve fries and uncovers a "Big Fries" conspiracy, where the “burger people” are trying to keep Nacho Fries a secret. The campaign included an immersive "Web of Fries" experience.
These efforts show how fast-food brands are more often turning to showy marketing stunts that can command the online conversation and provide consumers with memorable experiences. Recently, Taco Bell Canada unveiled the "Cheesiest Billboard," an actual billboard that dispenses nacho cheese to promote a new Nacho Cheese Naked Chicken Chalupa offering. The billboard goes live on Jan. 19.
This isn't the first time Taco Bell has announced the return of Nacho Fries in an elaborate fashion. In July, it resurrected the menu item by tying it to the 25th anniversary of the cult film "Demolition Man." The campaign, taking a cue from the movie, depicts a utopian future where Taco Bell is the sole restaurant left after surviving the "Franchise Wars." As part of the promotion, the brand gave fans the chance to watch the original film for free on Fandango's streaming platform, FandangoNOW.