The media calls it an all-out war. In a recent Taco Bell ad promoting their new breakfast menu, unveiled in March, real-life men named Ronald McDonald fawned over Taco Bell’s breakfast foods. It seems the fast food chain is trying to cook up more than just waffle tacos, they are bent on rekindling a long-simmering rivalry with McDonald’s that will decide who will reign supreme in what is said to be a $30 billion breakfast industry.
McDonald’s response to the witty ad came in the form a tweeted image of the Ronald McDonald clown petting a Chihuahua with the tagline “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” This move may have done more for Taco Bell than their competitor intended, sparking a faux-battle that has quickly gone viral.
Although McDonald’s has long been a favorite, Taco Bell had a nine-point lead in a recent Citi Research survey that polled consumers on which breakfast they preferred. Marketing experts, however, remain skeptical, attributing much of the early success to Taco Bell’s splashy ad campaigns, which generated substantial Internet buzz. But the golden arches eatery is not going down without a fight, they promoted a free coffee campaign during the first two weeks of April and are considering extending their breakfast hours.
“Breakfast is a routine time of the day and we knew we had to do something disruptive to get people’s attention and to turn to Taco Bell and not anywhere else,” Taco Bell’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said in a statement. The company will be rolling out additional ads in the coming weeks.