Dear Taco Bell

Taco Bell chief marketing officer David Ovens has resigned from the company. Mr. Ovens, who has been with Yum since 2007, reportedly resigned for personal reasons and is returning to Australia with his family. Mr. Creed is expected to oversee the company’s marketing function until a replacement for is found.

Maureen Morrison, Advertising Age.

Dear Taco Bell,

Perhaps you know me. I write a sports and sandwich blog of minor repute and I am your biggest fan.

I chose my current place of residence in part because of its proximity to a Taco Bell location. I went to Taco Bell on my wedding day, in between the ceremony and reception. I own an autographed copy of Glen Bell’s authorized biography, Taco Titan. I co-founded the Taco Bell Wiki.

I enjoy my current job very much; I cover the baseball team I grew up loving and I have the freedom to write about pretty much anything I want. But I’m willing to give all that up to be Taco Bell’s new Chief Marketing Officer, assuming the position comes with a hefty salary and a boatload of free tacos. A company car would be nice too, but we’ll settle that when we get to the negotiating phase.

And though I lack any sort of marketing experience, I trust you’ll follow the sage advice of my predecessor and Think Outside the BunTM on this one. What exactly does a Chief Marketing Officer do? I have no idea. But I bet it involves telling people about how great Taco Bell is, and so I bet I’d be pretty damn good at it. I believe in your product, Taco Bell.

If I were to be hired as your Chief Marketing Officer, I would implement my Triple-Decker Taco agenda, the following three-tiered plan to further strengthen the Taco Bell brand. The three tiers are: Interactivity, Accountability, and Crunchy Red Strips.

Interactivity: Let’s face it, Taco Bell: They’re onto you. Every savvy taco eater realizes that almost all new Taco Bell menu items come from creating new combinations of ingredients already present on the Taco Bell menu. Let’s put pretense out to pasture and turn taco innovation over to the community.

I’ve presented this idea before but I fear it fell on deaf ears: The Taco Bell website should feature an interface wherein Taco Bell fans can create new menu items out of existing Taco Bell ingredients. Think of it like a paper doll, except instead of putting clothes on a doll we’re putting Lava Sauce on a theoretical Gordita. Then someone with access to a Taco Bell kitchen — specifically me — can test out the most promising suggested Taco Bell creations and select a few to feature in an online poll. Users vote on the best-looking new product, and we serve it for a limited time at participating locations.

That’s Taco Bell 2.0, brother.

We could also poll users on which classic limited-run menu item to bring back. Except we’d have to rig the poll, because I’d really like to try a Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito.

Accountability: Have you ever been to the Taco Bell restaurant in Elmsford, N.Y.? It’s the Worst Taco Bell in the World. Sometimes you have to wait like 20 minutes in the drive-thru line. You could make your own tacos in that much time. Plus, they almost never have the red shells for Volcano Tacos. And heaven forbid you want no tomatoes on your Baja Beef Gordita, it’s practically even money they’ll serve it to you with tomatoes and without Baja Beef.

We can’t have this happen, Taco Bell. Someone needs to hold local franchisees accountable for their restaurants so that every Taco Bell store can operate as efficiently as the ones in Hempstead and Oceanside, N.Y. — fine Taco Bells both. The only way I can think of to ensure quality-of-service across all locations is to have one guy travel the country ordering and eating Taco Bell.

I can be that guy, Taco Bell.

That bell on your logo should mean something. I know it means something to me. We need to make sure it resonates with the melodious ring of cheese-drenched awesomeness, not the discordant clang of a disappointing dining experience.

Crunchy Red Strips: Seriously, Taco Bell, do you have any idea how good the Crunchy Red Strips are? Why are they not in more stuff? They’re the perfect way to add crunchiness to portable menu items, and yet they’re only included in like four things.

Let’s change that. As Chief Marketing Officer, I would see to it that we create more driver-friendly menu items featuring and/or focused around the Crunchy Red Strips. And I’d make sure all Taco Bell employees are trained to add Crunchy Red Strips to any existing menu item (for a small additional charge, of course) in an even and appropriate manner.

Clearly, increased interactivity, accountability and Crunchy Red Strips will help power Taco Bell — all Taco Bells — to the forefront of fast-food dining experiences. This is how we win the franchise wars. I am your destiny, Taco Bell.

I eagerly await your response, Taco Bell. My resume is available upon request.

Love,
Ted

 

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