Taco Bell has turned a class action lawsuit about the beef in its food into a Facebook marketing campaign. The restaurant chain is giving away 10 million free beef tacos to Facebook “likers” who download and print a coupon.
The company pitched the offer to its 5.4 million Facebook “likes” yesterday, and has since picked up around 100,000 additional “likes.” Taco Bell is employing a like-gating strategy that’s being increasingly leveraged by marketers. If 10 million coupons are downloaded, the brand will announce the offer has reached its limit capacity with a message on its Facebook wall. Consumers have until Feb. 15 to use the coupons.
The Irvine, CA-based firm is running Facebook.com ads to drive more “likes” and coupon downloads. The ad features an image of the brand’s hot sauce packet emblazoned with the Facebook-oriented language, “Thumbs up to you, Friend!” Below it appears the copy: “Thanks so much for your support! What’s not to ‘Like’ about a free taco?”
The development is part of a larger PR campaign that attempts to refute an Alabama class action lawsuit that claims Taco Bell’s seasoned beef is only 35 percent actual beef.
Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed commented on the Facebook campaign in a prepared statement: “Throughout the beef class action lawsuit, the response and enthusiasm from our Facebook community has been overwhelmingly positive. We found it only fitting to reward these 5.4 million fans and a friend with a free taco. It’s our way of saying thanks for their loyalty and support.”