That Time Doja Cat Helped Taco Bell Bring Back Its Mexican Pizza

It's 'Contractual,' OK?

When Taco Bell took Mexican Pizza off its menu, loyal fans rose up in protest, including Doja Cat, who took to social and demanded the item's return.

Taco Bell agency Deutsch L.A. noted of the organic engagement and saw a chance to collaborate in big, brand-boosting fashion. Last night, the resulting campaign won a Grand at the Clio Music Awards.

Deutsch and Taco Bell wanted to work with Doja long-term, and cooked up an overarching strategy.

They portrayed Cat as the hero and Taco Bell as the villain, with Doja speaking on behalf of the masses. Deutsch collaborated with the artist on how she and Taco Bell could spar for an entire year, until Mexican Pizza made its return.

"From Twitter beefs, to diss "jingles" on TikTok, the ideas came to life in a way that felt authentic to Doja Cat," says Sara Singh, Deutsch strategy director.

Ensuring authenticity presented some challenges. The biggest? The song that Doja Cat would perform in a Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial. The trick was presenting something that fit the brand narrative but didn't feel like a misstep for Cat's career.

"We went through hundreds of songs before ultimately arriving at 'Celebrity Skin'," says Singh.

In the end, Doja recorded her first alternative rock single as part of the partnership. Courtney Love adapted lyrics, and Travis Barker handled production.

"That single will forever be connected to Taco Bell. And with over 22 million streams on Spotify to date, the song stands out in her lauded catalog. And it grabbed an unprecedented amount of earned media for Taco Bell," Singh also says.

Another highlight: the diss track Doja made to call out Taco Bell. The agency had no clue she would get on Instagram Live in the middle of the night and create it with 10,000+ people watching.

"There was so much trust built between all parties that we had to roll with the punches, and ultimately, the song garnered over 40 million views on TikTok and became iconic in the Mexican Pizza fandom," says Singh. "Through all the unexpected challenges in this project, we learned that it's important for celebrity partnerships to be true to who they are as people, and that building trust between a partner and a brand is key."

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