Paragon Advertising knew Vladimir Putin was never destined to dine at Mighty Taco when the restaurant banned him from its outlets in an ad last week. But it declared its Mexican fare off limits to the Russian president anyway.
Doing so has put the Buffalo fast food chain on the map. The ad went viral after being picked up by an Associated Press reporter in Albany, making international headlines and appearing everywhere from tiny news outlets in the south and Midwest to The Australian and Britain’s Daily Mail.
“By Friday, it was being translated into Polish, Russian, Ukrainian,” said James Gillan, president of Paragon Advertising, the agency behind the ad. “The Mighty Taco office was getting calls from Germany.”
The ad was published in just one publication--a 30-page guide to Dyngus Day Buffalo called, “From Polonia With Love,” and appeared on its Facebook page when it got picked up internationally. It was later posted in other publications, and an audio version aired on local radio stations.
The print ad bears a picture of Putin with “Mighty Taco Bans Putin!” in large, bold letters.
“You may be ordering around the Crimea, but you won’t be ordering a Super Mighty Taco around here anytime soon,” it reads. “No one likes a bully, so stop picking on people and maybe you will be welcomed back to Mighty Taco."
The ad warns that Putin is banned from all Mighty Taco locations, “All of them – even the one on Delaware and Hertel!”
The taco chain is known for its quirky ads, but none have generated this much play.
“It has been astounding how fast it moved. It just struck a nerve worldwide,” Gillan said. “I think because it was not threatening, it was just reminding the world that no one likes a bully and let’s all behave kindly.”
---Samantha Maziarz Christmann