When the online video clip “How to Scam Del Taco” debuted to more than 20,000 hits on YouTube earlier this year, the Mexican fast food chain found itself in an increasingly common, stomach-churning crisis. The DIY spot, which shows three guys punking a store manager by claiming their order has been messed up, had become one of the company’s top searchable results. The company looked like a viral laughing stock. Until Del Taco decided to beat the haters at their own game.
Del Taco has just launched its own course of online embarrassment called “The Del Taco Super Special Show,” a series of campy commercials “chock-a-block with Honeyshed-like oddities, double entendres, scantily clad babes and oddball animations and puppetry” (not to mention little people) aimed squarely at the frat-house demographic, AdFreak reports. “How to Scam Del Taco” still wins out in the search results for the company’s name, but with new brand icons like “Timothy Tacohands,” an Edward Scissorhands knock-off with far less durable tortilla shells for appendages, there is little doubt that goofiness will soon unseat humiliation as the restaurant’s meme.
Domino’s Pizza could have used just this sort of approach last April when a homemade clip showing employees farting on delivery toppings became their own top-ranked devastation. To counter, the company did everything from publicly apologizing to amending its Wikipedia page. What it didn’t do was give consumers something else to talk about. Timothy Tacohands getting his tortilla shells unexpectedly crushed in a handshake certainly does.