In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Tracee Larocca, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Taco Bell.
Ignite Visibility applauds the Taco Bell team for providing more than $7.5 million in scholarships for young students via the Taco Bell Foundation.
By the way, $2 million of that scholarship money goes to Taco Bell team members. That’s a great way to show support for employees, many of whom are young people who will soon attend college.
“The pandemic has caused financial strain for families around the country, yet young people’s passions haven’t gone away,” said Jennifer Bradbury, Interim Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. “We are hopeful that this year’s scholarships will provide many creative, passionate fans and Taco Bell team members opportunities they may not have otherwise had. We are also proud to continue expanding our partnerships and resources to ignite change and create a better future for our scholars as they make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.”
In 2020, the scholarship program expanded the eligible age range to 16-26. Again, many folks who work at Taco Bell are in that age group.
So… well done, Taco Bell. Again.
Prospective scholars just need to submit a two-minute video explaining their passions and the positive change they want to make in the world. They also need to say how their education will help them reach their goals.
And here’s some good news for struggling students: the program does not require them to submit grades, essays, or test scores.
The scholarship program assists students on their way to almost any educational program, including a trade school or community college.
Although the application period closed out on January 20, Taco Bell has yet to announce the winners. That will happen in May of this year.
Winning students will receive as much as $25,000 each.
According to Taco Bell: “Taco Bell Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps America’s young people pursue their educational goals and career aspirations. Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has reached more than 4 million young people across the country and has awarded more than $95 million in grants and scholarships, focused on education and career readiness.”
Tracee Larocca has been with Taco Bell for a whopping 20 years. If you’ve been reading this space for a while, you know that’s unusual for people at this level of marketing.
Apparently, she likes her job.
And what’s not to like? She’s got a track record that demonstrates success in fast food marketing.
Larocca manages the advertising, sports, social, and music partnerships for Taco Bell. She also oversees PR and in-house creative teams.
In fact, she’s a legend in modern-day marketing. According to her LinkedIn profile, she led the Taco Bell team in brand repositioning for “Live Más.”
That means “live more” for those of you not fluent in languages south of the border.
And even if you don’t know what it means, you’ve probably heard of it. You’ve likely seen the “Live Más” messaging somewhere more than once.
Credit Tracee Larocca for that.
She also managed the launch of several great fast food campaigns, including Doritos Locos Tacos, Nacho Fries, and Taco Bell Breakfast.
By the way, do you see a theme there? She launched new products while staying true to the Southwest/Latin American theme of the Taco Bell brand.
That’s pretty slick. And worthy of imitation for other marketers.
Finally, Larocca’s team also brought to life several brand moments, including the Taco Bell Test Kitchen with Open Table and Steal a Base, Steal a Taco with Major League Baseball.
Wrapping It Up
During the time that Tracee Larocca has spent with Taco Bell, the company won several recognitions.
It was named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. It was recognized as Ad Marketer of the Year by AdAge.
And Larocca’s efforts have earned the company more than a dozen Cannes Lions Awards.
Follow her on LinkedIn. She’s one who merits your attention.