January 24, 2017 / Katya Fainbark

The Video Whisperer: A New Approach to Branded Video by TacoBell

In my previous video whisperer blog post, I talked about the success Nike’s had with its Time is Precious branded web series. This week, I dive into the impressive work of Taco Bell, as promised. Without further adieu, here it is!

Once upon a time there was a brand that made tacos for a whole lot of people - Taco Bell. One day, a bright man named Ryan Rimsnider, Taco Bell’s senior manager of social strategy, decided to take it up a notch and create a new way to deliver videos - that’s how Taco Tales came to life.

So, What’s These Branded Videos About?

Well, according to Ryan Rimsnider, it’s a chance for Taco Bell to put itself into creators’ shoes and start talking like them - no pure marketing, just stories. And it really does look like it: Taco Tales aren’t just a bunch of branded videos, it’s a series of branded video episodes, all tied around Taco Bell’s story. Not just that, the videos are tied together, having an intro, a middle and an ending - just like you would have in a real movie script.

Every episode is about two- to three-minutes long, and is based on ideas that came from places such as Twitter and Reddit - the ideas that then turn into videos like this one:

Rumors are, after finishing to work on all the episodes, Taco Bell has something else in mind - and that’s a hosted clip show, featuring all the content from the brand’s fans.

What a great way to engage with your brand’s fans and get exposure, huh? After all, those fans who see their Taco Tale stories in Taco Bell’s videos are way more likely to share them with others. You can use this tip next time you create branded video content:)

Taco Bell or not, you can create branded videos (or let your brand ambassadors do it) by signing up for a Showbox demo.

Aside from taking a new approach to branded videos, Taco Bell is also into new promotion strategies: the brand is making these branded videos YouTube-only content. For Rimsnider, it’s a perfect opportunity to stand out in the “sea of sameness” when delivering content on social media.

If you ask me though, the very idea of delivering branded video content using such stories turns Taco Bell’s branded videos into very memorable and unique - and hey, as I mentioned, your brand ambassadors can do it all for you with UGC videos.

What’s The Result?

Well, the very first episode aired on December 8, 2016, and it already has almost 2M views. Considering that Taco Bell focuses on YouTube with these - that’s very impressive work!

But let’s not forget, there are other episodes that are worth showing. So far, Taco Bell has released 3 more stories (at the time of writing) featuring a hungry pregnant woman, a very persistent soon-to-be father, a really excited race driver and a rolling grandma:)



The “Future Father of the Year” episode was released on December 29 and it’s got more than 100K views in just 2 days! That’s no surprise since Taco Bell seems to have thought of every detail in these branded video episodes.

Soundtrack Gives the Energy Vibe

It’s impossible to talk about Taco Tales without mentioning the soundtrack. After all, making branded videos isn’t just about the footage - music and sounds add a great deal.

In the episodes, the soundtrack allows users to focus precisely on the message that’s being conveyed. It’s style works in sync with the voiceover and scripts: pitches are elevated and lowered, and funny sounds are added as the stories unfold - and this appears throughout the branded web series, giving viewers a very energetic vibe.

Skillful Use of Footage

This vibe wouldn’t get where it’s now without the wise use of footage, of course. Let’s start by noting that all of the episodes are based on what’s called reverse chronology - the stories are told backwards, starting with the end. In my opinion, it’s something that automatically changes your regular video marketing tactics into true storytelling.

When you see reverse chronology in action, chances are you’ll find yourself asking: “Oh! How did this happen?” - the question that makes you curious, and so you end up watching whatever it is you’re watching till the end. Plus, reverse chronology actually means there’s a plot to a story where one thing leads to another, it’s not just a mere buy-this-now act.

In fact, the marketing messages are given very little weight in these branded videos. They only appear as Taco Bell’s logo, doors, brand colors, and sometimes are given a very small place in the scripts themselves, like when one of the race team members says the name of the brand in episode 2.

By the way, did you see how the frame freezes every time you hear the voice over? That’s another wise footage tactic in these branded videos. Why? Because it makes the voice over the center of your attention.

There’s another reason I love these branded video web series - and that’s the use of next-time-on- taco-tales technique. Aside from helping Taco Bell’s storytelling, it actually lets you know what to anticipate next time, keeping the interest boiling.

With all these great choices, what can your brand get out of all this? It’s all food for thought:)

Food For Thought

The tips for making such branded videos are endless, but you have to pick the ones that fit your brand. The main fact remains though: online video series aren’t just about marketing - it’s all in the storytelling; storytelling is the shortest road to increased engagement and exposure. But you don’t have to be Taco Bell to get there, or even create your branded videos in-house - your fans can do it all for you - and that’s where Showbox can help.

Next time on “The Video Whisperer”: a hot chart of Super Bowl commercials. Which one is your favorite?  

Turn Your Followers into Brand Ambassadors



Katya Fainbark

Katya loves writing about technology and psychology. She finds it a very intersting mix, considering each person is wired a certain way and technology is always changing. If she had all the time in the world, you'd probably find her travelling because it lets her to break free from the everyday and dive into new cultures, exploring new ways to connect with people. That's why her favorite Showbox Graphic Theme is the Great Outdoors.

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