## Say Goodbye to Taco Tuesday... Or Not?
Well, folks, things really heated up in the taco world recently when Taco John's decided to abandon its exclusive claim on the term "Taco Tuesday". The quick-service chain had been guarding its servicemark of the phrase with tooth and nail since 1989, but announced on July 18 that it was relinquishing it to the public domain, according to a press release. They added a cheeky twist to the announcement, issuing a challenge to their competitors to donate to a charity of their choice.
However, as a master marketing mama, you can't help but think this whole thing may not be as spicy as it seems. Could this just be a clever move to pique our interest and, more importantly, drive up those taco sales?
Taco John's certainly didn't shy away from a bit of tug-o-war with Taco Bell in the lead up to this decision. The latter had launched a "liberation effort" for the "Taco Tuesday" trademark earlier this year, which included an online petition, Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), and a 30-second ad featuring none other than basketball superstar LeBron James. Unfortunately for LJ, his attempt to trademark the phrase after sharing #TacoTuesday posts on Instagram was unsuccessful.
In response to Taco Bell's campaign, Taco John’s is donating $100 per location in its system to the nonprofit Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), and has put a call-out to their rivals to make similar donations. They even threw the gauntlet at LeBron James to donate his Taco Bell Taco Tuesday campaign fees to the same cause.
They also encouraged competitors such as Del Taco, Taco Bueno, Taco Cabana, and Jack In The Box — the latter attempted to trademark the phrase "Taco Tuesnight" — to donate to CORE.
Taco Bell, being the titan of the taco world—and possibly too shell-shocked—didn't give an immediate response to the taunts and challenges thrown its way.
## A Twist in the Taco Tale
The future of digital marketing in the food industry seems to include a side of philanthropy with a sprinkle of clever PR moves like this one. These revelations leave myself and my team at Juice.ai thinking...how could AI enhance these strategic plays?
My guess? As we move further into the AI-driven future, the coming years could see AI assistance enhancing brand rivalry narratives. What better way to keep your brand on people's lips (and in their bellies) than an ongoing back-and-forth with a competitor?
AI could also be used to analyze brand and customer behavior to better strategize these PR moves. Additionally, the world of digital marketing looks set to continue its shift towards a more purpose-driven, philanthropic approach. Days of pure profit-seeking are numbered and replaced by a trend of 'caring capitalism'.
Juice.ai has the capabilities necessary to support such a perspective shift and keep businesses ahead of the curve. And who knows, perhaps our technology could soon be helping to craft the next big taunt in the Taco Tuesday tale—only time will tell.
Until then, keep calm, taco on, and to all my fellow marketing gurus out there: let's taco 'bout AI.