Tacos and the art of confrontational advertising

I’ve seen some pretty underhanded marketing stunts in my time, but this one probably takes home the prize.


While completely legal, it’s ethically dubious. It’s rude and arrogant. It’s a low blow in a tough fight against a fierce competitor – I love it.


While slowly making my way through the never-ending parking lot otherwise known as “my morning drive to work”, I drove past a small suburban Mexican restaurant. Across the road from this restaurant stands a large pub, which features a shiny new billboard in a tasteless shade of bright canary yellow.


The advertisement? The $2 Taco Tuesday night at a Mexican restaurant in the neighbouring suburb. As if to dispel any possibility that this billboard location could have been chosen as the result of an ad agency oversight, the tagline reads “The best margaritas in the neighbourhood”.


Well, they probably couldn’t find a better location to target the local Mexican food-loving demographic. After all, where better to advertise a taco night than across the road from a Mexican restaurant?


Heaven help the waiter who brings out the wrong bill while the competitor’s $2 taco sign sits just out the window. Let alone when the grumpy customer starts quibbling over the bill, whining that the tacos are too expensive.


It must also be terrible for staff morale to be reminded that the competition is apparently successful enough to afford an advertising budget every time they come in to work.


It’s mean-spirited. It’s cruel. In fact, when I finally got into the office, I got on the phone to ask about putting up a new billboard – across the road from the Snoqualmire Widgets offices.


How much would it cost to put up a billboard across the road from your competitor’s office or shop? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out.


Get it done – today!


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