2/11/09

fruit vs. taco

chiquita and taco bell are very different brands, yet they're both doing a nice job of making unexpected connections with people (chiquita with its stickers on bananas, and taco bell with its sauce packets). so who's doing it better?

right off the bat, you see the earnestness of chiquita and the smart-assedness of taco bell. in a mere two words, taco bell not only gets across its brand voice, it also manages to call out and dismiss the majority of its competition. normally, that takes at least three words. taco 1, fruit 0.

yeah, we get it, chiquita. you're good for us. and while we appreciate the instructions, we know bananas need peeling. seriously, the brand is coming off as pretty condescending. but in this round, taco bell puts up a particularly weak effort. call it a disappointing draw. score remains taco 1, fruit 0.

alright chiquita, this is getting old quickly. you go from telling us things we already know to telling us things we don't believe. is there no middle ground in the banana plantation? (and by the way, what's with all the spots there, holyfield?) taco bell comes through with an effective personal appeal. (no chiquita, that was not a pun.) taco 2, fruit 0.

well lookey there, chiquita pulls out the holy grail of their brand, with a reference to the popular song from their commercials through the years. just when you thought the brand didn't know how to smile. meanwhile, is taco bell suggesting they re-package leftover sauce? that does explain some of the 99¢ menu items. such a huge connection, we're awarding bonus points to chiquita. and at the half, it's taco 2, fruit 3.

INTERMISSION

today's halftime report is brought to you by the reassuringly expensive taste of stella artois. "Stella Artois. The Beer for Illinois."



long before i saw this sticker, i would put a chiquita sticker on my forehead. my daughter would laugh, i'd accuse her of putting it up there in the first place, she wouldn't realize i was kidding so she'd get upset and start crying... it was a great morning tradition. taco bell comes on strong with the flotation device (though scientific tests prove those packets do actually float), but it's no match for a brand that knows exactly how its audience uses the product. more bonus points. taco 2, fruit 5.

oh boy, back to the obvious for chiquita. they're not breaking any ground by suggesting bananas go well with lunch boxes. taco bell continues strong with its cousin of the "flotation device" line. taco 3, fruit 5.

hey chiquita, where's the humanity? you know, foreheads and smiles? meanwhile, taco bell goes bilingual. as someone who knows at least one (but not more than three) phrases in a lot of languages, i like the cut of taco bell's jib here. taco 4, fruit 5. (for the record, that's not an albino banana. it's just a sticker on a white refrigerator.)

taco bell keeps its stride with a joke that requires thought, but not too much. meanwhile, chiquita is quickly becoming the brand that loosened its tie once at a holiday party, only to be horrified to discover the fun was caught on camera and is now posted online. who knew the most memorable marketing for bananas would come from "hollaback girl"? c'mon, chiquita - where's the clever?

and the final score is taco 5, fruit 5.

OVERTIME
anyone who's read this far deserves a winner. we're going to OT.

if that's what clever gets you, chiquita, you best stick to the earnestness. on the taco bell side, having had the mild sauce once, i can totally understand fire's feelings. final score: taco 6, fruit 5.


while both brands should be applauded for having too much time on their hands, taco bell's voice is not only brand appropriate and consistent, it's also engaging enough to elicit an audience response. as for chiquita, a brand can be earnest and use its marketing to educate.

just make sure the education is actually educational.

1 comment:

Mike said...

While Taco Bell may have won the battle of cleverness, Chiquita would indubitably win any legal war. What a crack team they've clearly assembled. From those stickers, it would appear they've managed to trademark the words "Smile" and "Daily." Impressive™.