Taco Bell Gives Fans A Valentine's Gift: Temporary Tattoos

Fast food brand continues trying to build an authentic friendship with millennials.


As millions of American consumers buy cards, flowers, chocolates and the like to celebrate the ones they love, Taco Bell says it has monitored the online behavior of its passionate young fans and knows precisely what they want for Valentine’s Day. This gift is temporary, but reflects permanent brand love, Taco Bell says. And, along with a petition for a taco emoji and some Snapchat horoscopes, the brand says it is trying to build an authentic friendship with its fans by giving them what they want and also by integrating itself into their lifestyles.

It’s a big commitment to commemorate Cupid’s arrow with tattoo needles, so quick service chain Taco Bell is offering its passionate young fans – who may still have some proverbial oats to sow – a slightly less permanent alternative for Valentine’s Day.

In fact, Taco Bell is showing Valentine’s Day love to its followers by giving away Taco Bell-themed flash tattoos via Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter on Friday, February 13.

According to a Taco Bell rep, the brand will give out “about one hundred for free (perhaps more),” and will also be selling the flash tattoos online on a Taco Bell Flash Tattoos website powered by ecommerce software provider Shopify.

Flash tattoos are metallic, jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos that last a little less than a week.

“They’re very trendy amongst millennials right now,” the rep added.

On Valentine’s Day Eve, Taco Bell will let its fans know the flash tattoos are available on its social channels. The posts will include a unique code that allows the first 100 fans to visit TacoBellFlashTattoos to get the tattoos for free. Thereafter, fans can purchase tattoos for $8.99 per sheet, or three sheets for $19.99, on the same website. Taco Bell will then mail the flash tattoos to recipients, presumably making for a somewhat belated valentine.

Taco Bell will promote the effort on related channels, where it has millions of fans/followers, including: 1.5 million on Twitter, 10.7 million on Facebook, and 482,000 on Instagram.

“It’s very simple to promote flash sales across these channels and we’re also fortunate enough to have very passionate fans who engage with us on these channels,” according to Taco Bell’s rep.

Flash tattoos are popular among millennial females in particular. The brand says it always looks to its “customers and friends in social media” for inspiration and “noticed that flash tattoos are something that they enjoy incorporating into their personal styles – some even get real Taco Bell tattoos,” which is what inspired the brand to create the custom branded flash tattoos.

“Our social strategy is to truly build an authentic friendship with our fans, so we’re very excited to gift them with something they’re into, in addition to always making our food available to them at our restaurants,” the rep said. “We want our fans to know that while these tattoos may be temporary, Taco Bell’s love for its fans is permanent.”

While Taco Bell calls the product “flash tattoos,” the rep notes the brand “worked with our own vendor to create our custom flash tattoos” and the Taco Bell tattoos do not come from the brand Flash Tattoos.

This isn’t the brand’s first flash sale in social media. The rep says the brand has also sold Taco Bell sweatshirts for National Taco Day (which is October 4) and taco emoji t-shirts to promote its campaign to get a taco emoji, in which it actually submitted a Change petition.

In the petition, Taco Bell notes that Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that regulates the coding standards for written computer text that includes emojis, announced it has accepted 37 new emoji characters – including a taco emoji — as candidates for Unicode 8.0, which is scheduled for mid-2015.

“We need your help convincing them THE TACO EMOJI NEEDS TO HAPPEN,” Taco Bell writes. “Why do pizza and hamburger lovers get an emoji but taco lovers don’t? Here’s a better question: why do we need four different types of mailboxes? Or 25 different types of clocks? Or a VCR tape and floppy disk emoji? No one even uses those things anymore.”

As of February 11, the petition has more than 28,000 signatures.

“We want to seamlessly integrate Taco Bell into our fans’ lifestyles, whether it’s through our food, mobile app, or unique merchandise like these flash tattoos,” the rep says.

The merchandise the brand sells via flash sales and at LiveMasStore also benefits its Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, which encourages teens to finish high school.

In addition, Taco Bell fans unsure of their romantic futures this Valentine’s Day might be interested to know the brand has started doing Taco Bell horoscopes via Snapchat.

“We’re always looking for unique ways to provide our fans with fun content on that platform,” the Taco Bell rep says. “In the past, we’ve created games on the platform, quizzes and different stories. Horoscopes are just another piece of content we’re exploring.”

What do you think of Taco Bell's effort to show its young fans brand love?