Denim Tacos?

My friend and I wondered about this when we first saw it.

What the heck were "Denim Tacos?" I was hungry so I figured I'd wait in line and find out. 

The price was certainly right. $1.69 for two tacos and a drink! (- What they neglect to mention is that each taco is tiny. About the diameter of a tennis ball. So it's really more like $1.69 for one taco and a drink, which is still a great deal!)

There's no "Denim" taco on the menu. You have a choice of Steak, Chicken, Fish, or Tofu tacos. And that bottle on the menu is not free hot sauce (Because really? Free hot sauce? Who'd charge for that?) but represents your free drink which is bottled water, or a Jarittos - a childproof brand of Mexican soda. "Childproof" because you can't open it unless you carry a bottle opener or have the presence of mind to go back to the cashier and ask "Excuse me. Could you please open this for me?"

While I was waiting in line, I thought I heard someone excitedly say "Free CHEESE??!! I won FREE CHEESE!!!" Naturally that got my attention. I watched as the excited man, and a woman from the truck, spoke animatedly to each other.

"Yes you did! You won!!!" 

"No way!!! This is the best day ever!!! FREE CHEESE!!!!!"

I kept watching because 1) I was amused, and 2) I was still waiting in line so where else was I going to go? It turned out that the man had not won free cheese. What he'd actually won was free JEANS. - Which didn't make a whole lot more sense than free cheese, but it was the first thing that sort of tied in to the Denim Taco sign.

There were lots of other signs on the truck that I tried to 'decode' in a somewhat futile attempt to ease my confusion, including a small neon sign with intermixed lines that read "The El Gap Hueco Is Esta Open Abierto." I eventually figured out I was supposed to read every other line so that it either said "The Gap is Open," in English, or "The hole is open" in Spanish. (In retrospect I realized that "Hueco" was meant to be read as "Gap" but every Spanish person I know would have read it as "hole.")

Had the line not been so crazy long (I waited over half an hour!) I might never have figured out the mystery of the Denim Taco Truck with the "Free Jeans" and hot sauce soda, but after two visits, and a search on the Internet, I finally got the full story.

The "Pico de Gap" truck is owned, and is part of a promotional effort, by Gap Jeans. Which is why every once in a while, a random customer gets surprised with certificate for a free pair of Jeans. Additionally, everyone who buys a taco gets a coupon for $20 off a pair of 1969 Gap Jeans.

Unfortunately, I understood none of this from reading the truck (Denim Tacos? Free Hot Sauce? The hole is open?), not to mention that when I see a food truck I think small family business, not large conglomerate. But once I KNEW it was a promotional truck for the Gap, everything fit in and made sense. - In a roundabout "Thank God for search engines" kind of way.

Don't get me wrong, the food is good, the price is great, and the coupons are appreciated, but nothing about the truck said "THE Gap" to me. 

Note to Marketing: Next time throw THE GAP logo on the truck somewhere (instead of calling yourself a big open hole in Spanish) and/or say somewhere on the truck "Brought to you by THE GAP."  That's all that was needed. - And FWIW, it's not just me! I visited the truck on 3 separate days, and nobody in line understood the Gap connection (Even with the coupons! Even with the big pair of Jeans painted on the door!) unless they'd read about the truck online - or were standing within earshot of me! ;)

In any event, if I don't see the Pico de Gap truck again before the 1969 promotion ends, your crews have been friendly, and the food has been great. So long, and thanks for all the fish tacos!


Stella said...

I'm gonna apply to The Gap for a job in marketing as you obviously don't need any knowledge or skills . . . right up my alley/gap/taco. . .

Anny Sabine said...

This is without doubt one of the weirdest things I've heard of. I don't..understand. What is the connection between jeans and tacis? What's the connection between The Gap and tacos?
Why would they do this?
So many questions, I feel like I want to talk to whoever came up with this idea!

(I secretly think this person might've been drunk. "We need to promote our jeans more. Let's brainstorm. SELL TACOS!"

Noisy Quiet said...

I think we should all be hired!

Anny, imagine standing in line trying to figure it out! Lol!

Food trucks seem to be trendy at the moment, thanks largely, I think, to some shows on the FOOD channel that feature them. So I can kind of see how someone might thing it'd be cute to promote themselves through one. But then my gosh make it CLEAR that that's what it is! - Far too subtle IMO.

I think somebody must have thought that everybody associates "1969" with their product and that nobody uses the word "Gap" except when referring to their store. - Ummm... No.

As for Tacos as the choice of food? I have no idea. They're good! And I've now been to the truck 3 times because I saw it, recognized it, and thought "Hey there's that Taco truck!" - But I went for the tacos and the cheap price, not for anything Gap related. Maybe the $20 coupons are generating sales. I have no idea. But if the truck (coupons aside) is meant to be a marketing tool for them? It's unfortunately a fail.

Kelly said...

That is - just bizarre. God bless Google.

Noisy Quiet said...

I feel bad making light of their major promotion, but it's nutty! Nobody gets the connection.

Before I searched on the internet, I'd gotten as far as thinking that maybe the owners of the truck had contacted The Gap and arranged to get some free coupons, but I still didn't know why in the world [what I thought was] a small family owned taco truck had chosen to have a denim theme.

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