How could El Torito get its audience excited about Cinco de Mayo, their single biggest sales day of the year? Not with the same old song and dance.

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  • Dennis Lewis
  • Senior Copywriter

El Torito Gives Cinco de Mayo a Larger Stage

How do you get people excited about Cinco de Mayo? If you’re agency-of-record for El Torito, where Cinco de Mayo is their biggest day of the year, you better have a solution.

El Torito, famous throughout Southern California for their traditional Mexican cuisine and Signature Margaritas, wanted an idea that would engage their fan base and expand it. We brought them Mariachi Me, a shareable video program where you replace mariachi players’ faces with your own and with friends.

The idea behind Mariachi Me is simple, but bringing it to life, well, that’s a different story. As our Development Team pointed out, there was a lot to consider before moving forward.

  • Were we going to start from scratch, or does a template program exist?
  • How many faces would the user be given the opportunity to replace?
  • Would the user be given a chance to select the song and the scene?
  • Were there any licences that needed to be acquired?
  • Would the mariachi band be animated or live action?
  • How would our target audience find Mariachi Me?
  • How much lead time would our team need to develop?

These were just a few of the questions that needed answers. We also decided on live action, which called for a green screen video shoot of a live mariachi band and a traditional female dancer. As for lead time, we had a month, but we could have used two.

After finding the right song, we shot the mariachi band and dancer on green screen in Los Angeles. At the same time in Phoenix, our art directors were busy designing the set for the video (to lay over the green screen) and the microsite, where the custom video would be housed.

On its own, Mariachi Me would probably have come and gone relatively unnoticed. To ensure it reached the right audience, we promoted the video with in-store messaging, targeted emails, a public relations effort and a social campaign that ran on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

As the custom video started coming together, our next challenge was making the user experience as simple as possible. The language had to be clear, and the more user steps we could eliminate, the better.

Satisfied with the video and the user experience, we were ready to launch two weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo. Around the office, we took bets on how many videos would be generated. With El Torito largely located in Southern California, we knew our reach would be somewhat limited. Some guessed as low as 1,000 videos would be created. The highest guess was 10,000. The first day, more than 1,800 videos were created.

In LA, the video caught fire. With the help of our public relations team, Mariachi Me was featured on several local broadcasts, including KCAL 9 News at Noon. And its popularity wasn’t restricted to LA. Thousands of videos were created all over the country. In the two weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo, more than 43,000 videos were created.

Here are more results:

  • Today, more than 48,000 videos have been created as Mariachi Me is still active
  • The campaign brought in more than 156,000 users.
  • Mobile generated 83% of traffic and 88% of engagements.
  • People engaged like crazy with 22,000+ Facebook shares, 8,000+ email shares, 7,600+ Twitter shares and nearly 4,000 Instagram likes.
  • Last but not least, El Torito’s Cinco de Mayo sales rose 5.6% year over year.

Bottom line, Mariachi Me outperformed expectations. Many components contributed to its success, but its ease of use has to be near the top of the list. If you’d like to find out how fun and easy we made it, you can still create and share your Mariachi Me video at: http://mariachime.eltorito.com/

The way we see it, it’s never too early or too late to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Mariachi Me

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