Taco Bell's app stunt sees success

One day after launching a mobile payment and ordering app, Taco Bell says its stunt to shut down social media had some initial success.

On Tuesday, 90 percent of the chain's 6,000 U.S. stores began accepting mobile orders and payments through an iPhone and Android app. And just 24 hours after launch, Taco Bell said 75 percent of all stores already had processed a mobile order.

Taco Bell surprised customers when it wiped out its social media channels earlier this week to promote the app. Its Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr pages are still "blacked out" with a single post promoting the hashtag #onlyintheapp, effectively driving followers to the app.

"We needed to do something right out of the gate that people would notice, and what better way to notice and drive people to the new way to Taco Bell than the blackout?" said Chris Brandt, Taco Bell's CMO. "We will continue to be active in social media, we will continue to be disruptive, we're not walking away from all of those channels where we've built up a great discourse with our fans."

Now, Taco Bell has started amplifying its blackout post with Promoted Tweets and other social ads. The fast-food chain plans to limit all other social media content for the next couple days.

"In the past when we launched products, we focused on the product, we focused on why it's so good, and we connected that to lifestyle—using social to bring those together," said Dave Marsey, managing director of DigitasLBi San Francisco, Taco Bell's digital agency behind the campaign. "In this case, what led us to #onlyintheapp is that it's a new way—these are new ways to experience Taco Bell."

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