Mucho Burrito bows spicy ad

The QSR's first Canadian ad campaign doesn't shy away from controversy.

Mucho Burrito’s first Canadian ad campaign, developed by Doug & Serge in Toronto, targets young males with some edgy headlines.
Digital and traditional billboards in the GTA, Calgary and Edmonton feature bold taglines like, “From the land of fiestas, siestas and drug lords…2 out of 3 ain’t bad.” They’re presented in the visual style of painted outdoor signs in Mexico.
“We needed to communicate the brand’s fundamental positioning, which is about that fresh, authentic Mexican grill,” says Mike Welling, president, brand strategist, Doug & Serge, adding that they were looking for a “spicy” way to reach the brand’s target.
“They want to keep up with the big spenders, so they’ve got to do work that gets noticed,” adds CCO Doug Robinson.
Toronto-based RMR Marketing Services handled the media buy, which includes a radio spot akin to the Molson Canadian rant, featuring a friend of the mysterious (and as yet unseen) Johnny Mucho character, pontificating on all things authentically Mexican.
We asked Sean Davison, SVP/CD at MacLaren McCann and Gina Kiroff, senior brand building manager, Dove Masterbrand and Dove Men+Care, Unilever Canada, whether this campaign will have young guys salivating, or leave them wanting more.

Overall strategy
Davison: The strategy of “authentic Mexican” is fine. Humour is always a great way into consumers’ hearts. It’s not the most original, but it’s fertile creative territory.
Kiroff: The Mucho Burrito work will get noticed and may even get people talking but will it sell burritos? Unfortunately, any appetite appeal achieved with the burrito image stuffed with fresh ingredients may be undone by the less than appetizing image the copy conjures up (i.e., dogs, chickens waiting for slaughter, meth labs, etc.). The posters leveraged many of the negative Mexican stereotypes to create shock value.

Campaign elements
Davison: The Mexican “signage” design is a very rich area to play in, but could have been pushed farther. And the “rant” style radio is fun but not as memorable as it could have been. The radio makes a hero of Mexico, while the OOH headlines unfortunately focus on the country’s negative stereotypes. Not sure why. If you want to be authentic with regard to a country then constantly make a hero of it.
Kiroff: The radio is engaging and entertaining à la Jack Black in Nacho Libre. After having listened to the spot, I believe I would get simple authentic Mexican food from Mucho Burrito. I was glad to see that the Johnny Mucho character was not developed visually in other mediums. Not only would they have fallen victim to the QSR character trap, but Mucho Burrito may also have been confused with a mobile phone company. I believe the [billboard] copy would make their young male audience laugh out loud. The art direction has an authentic Mexican aesthetic, it’s fun and even includes the mandatory product beauty shot.

Keeping up with the big boys
Davison: OOH and radio can be powerful tools, but without continuity and a more engaging element (i.e., digital/experiential) [the campaign] will likely fade into the landscape. With the strategy being “authentic Mexican” and the art direction being handmade signage, a large “wild posting” media buy mixed with a digital element would possibly have been a more impactful way to reach their young male target.
Kiroff: Radio and outdoor is not only cost-efficient, but also helps the campaign stand out from its competitors who are predominantly in TV. The creative too stands out versus the more traditional advertising we tend to see from this category. However the competition is getting tougher. Boston Pizza’s advertising is very edgy and original and even Dairy Queen is taking a new approach by spoofing the Old Spice campaign.
I think Much Burrito does compete effectively and it will be interesting to see where they take this idea in the long-term (as long as they stay away from masked wrestlers).


advertiser Mucho Burrito; agency Doug & Serge; CCO Doug Robinson; CD/AD Ian Schwey; associate CD/writer Jason Buback; president/brand strategist Mike Welling; account manager Karelle Steiner