LeBron James has entered the Taco Bell/Taco John’s Taco Tuesday trademark tussle. So has Jack in the Box.
In a twist to Taco Bell’s fight to drop the trademark status of “Taco Tuesday” – claimed by rival Taco John’s since 1989 – NBA all-star Lebron James this week announced his support for Taco Bell’s effort. Taco Bell filed a petition to cancel the registered trademark last week, claiming its intention to “liberate” the phrase for all businesses to use.
“‘Taco Tuesday’ is a tradition that everyone should be able to celebrate. All restaurants, all families, all businesses – everybody,” James said in a statement. “‘Taco Tuesdays’ create opportunities that bring people together in so many ways, and it’s a celebration that nobody should own.”
James appears in an ad titled “Taco Bleep,” which, according to Taco Bell, “highlights the absurdity of ‘Taco Tuesday’ being trademarked and encouraging the taco community to join together in support of the liberation movement.”
Taco Bell CMO Taylor Montgomery said the company has received support and excitement in response to its efforts.
“Our passion for liberating ‘Taco Tuesday’ is fueled by the community of taco enthusiasts that turned two simple words into a cultural phenomenon,” Montgomery said in a statement. “To see the support and excitement in response to our efforts to free ‘Taco Tuesday’ for everyone is not something we take lightly. And, much like Taco Tuesday itself, it’s better when shared.”
As of today, the company's petition on Change.org has just over 1,700 signatures.
In an interview this week, Taco John’s CMO Barry Westrum said his company has also gained a major boost from this battle. He said mobile app downloads have increased by 25% in the past week, while same-store sales and traffic have “increased significantly.” Westrum added that “nobody likes a bully.”
Jack in the Box jumps into the fray
Taco John’s seems to be getting some support from Jack in the Box. The chain announced today it has filed for ownership of the phrase “Taco Tuesnight.”
Jack in the Box said this move is a “not-so-subtle response to Taco Bell’s latest hissy fit.” The company is targeting its late-night crowd with this campaign and has begun the process with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase. Throwing another jab, Jack in the Box said it won’t be “so precious about its usage” should the Taco Tuesnight trademark get awarded.
“One thing Jack and Taco Bell have in common? Belief that Taco Tuesday, Taco Tuesnight, and even Taco Tuesafternoon can and should be celebrated by all,” the company said.
However this trademark battle plays out, one thing is certain now – the QSR segment is keeping the USPTO very, very busy.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]