Dos Equis tempts customers with grasshopper tacos

Dos Equis and AOR Hill & Knowlton took a unique approach with a "Feast of the Brave" food truck that gave away exotic tacos including cow tongue, veal brain, ostrich, and grasshopper last spring in New York City.

Client: Dos Equis (White Plains, NY)
Agency: Hill & Knowlton (New York)
Campaign: Feast of the Brave
Duration: April 27 - May 7
Budget: $25,000 - $30,000

Dos Equis and AOR Hill & Knowlton (H&K) took a unique approach with a “Feast of the Brave” food truck that gave away exotic tacos including cow tongue, veal brain, ostrich, and grasshopper last spring in New York City.

“Feast of the Brave was an extension of the brand proposition [of leading a more interesting life],” explains Paul Smailes, senior brand director for Dos Equis and Sol. “We leveraged that on a street level and amplified it through PR and social media to reach a much wider audience.”

Strategy
As Dos Equis is a Mexican beer brand, the campaign was timed around Cinco de Mayo (April 27 to May 7). Chef Domingo Garza, who Smailes says has his own creative food truck, developed the menu. Though laws prohibited beer distribution, the truck was branded and Dos Equis' events company Mirrorball hired brand ambassadors to man it.

Social media outreach and media relations also drove awareness and messaging.

“The notion of being brave enough [to try the tacos] is something people can brag about,” notes Ben Trounson, SVP and director of consumer marketing at H&K. “It generates far more chatter online.”

Tactics
The truck visited lower Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods to reach the target audience of 21- to 34-year-olds.

“We chose lunch locations where the target audience would be and where media could attend,” adds Trounson. “The truck was parked near key [bar and restaurant] account locations [at night].”

Location updates were posted on Dos Equis' Facebook page and via its @FeastoftheBrave Twitter handle. Smailes notes alcohol brands are restricted to private handles, which are challenging because they require permission to follow.

Brand ambassadors posted photos and videos from the truck to Facebook and Twitter.

New York-based media and blogs covering food, spirits, and lifestyle, as well as marketing trades, were targeted. Select journalists and bloggers got six packs, bottle openers, and invites to visit the truck.

Results
More than 3,000 tacos were given away.

Smailes says Dos Equis' Facebook page gained about 2,500 incremental new likes tied to the campaign.

More than 2,500 tweets were generated. The Twitter handle got 587 followers between April 27 and May 7. Trounson says this is impressive, noting that Camarena Tequila has only attracted 1,089 followers in 11 months.

About 40 stories (nearly 9 million impressions) ran in outlets including Gothamist.com, PopSugar.com, Forbes.com, ChowHound, ClickZ, and Creativity.

Future
The team is developing 2012 promotional plans and considering how to expand Feast of the Brave next year.

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