QDOBA Mexican Eats® today provided the answer to a decades-long mystery, revealing at long last the meaning behind what “QDOBA” stands for via a series of quirky video spots. Each video opens with an acronym suggesting what QDOBA might stand for (i.e. Queso, Delicious On Basically Anything) before revealing that the real answer isn’t an acronym at all, because QDOBA stands for Flavor. This is the latest campaign to be developed in partnership with The Many as the brand’s creative agency.

The announcement comes following a week-long social activation in which the brand invited fans on social to submit guesses as to what they think QDOBA stands for, rewarding those who participated by bringing their suggestions to life in the form of social GIF animations.

Aimed at finally satisfying the fervor of curious fans while still leaving the door open to further debate and conversation, the campaign exemplifies the marketing tactics that QDOBA is most well-known for—going beyond ads to reach and engage with fans through modern media. By posing the type of question the internet loves, fans responded with passion, racking up over 600,000 organic impressions across QDOBA’s social channels and generating over 30,000 engagements thus far. The brand also used the opportunity to hack social platforms by creating a QDOBA acronym generator – a tool that would usually require sending users to another site – in the form of a pause-able GIF that allowed people to stay within QDOBA’s social channels.

“QDOBA means many things to many different people, but at the core our fans all love the flavor we bring,” said QDOBA’s Vice President of Marketing, Jill Adams. “This campaign gives our fans the chance to let the world know what they love about QDOBA and celebrate all the unique flavors that make up the QDOBA experience.”

“QDOBA has such a fun and unusual name, and the flavor of their food is also unique in the category,” said Scott Harris, Founding Partner and Executive Creative Director at The Many. “We wanted a campaign that communicated both literally and figuratively what QDOBA stands for, but just as importantly, was 100% ownable. The idea of acronyms does all of this in a really fun and engaging way.”

Each of the four brand films begin with a plausible acronym that QDOBA could stand for, before revealing that QDOBA actually stands for flavor. In the first film, a woman voraciously eats a burrito as a narrator suggests the acronym “Quickly Devouring Our Burritos Always?” In the second, a man imagines floating amongst an other-worldly sea of burrito bowls, set to the acronym “Quietly Daydreaming Of Burrito Bowls Again?” In the third, a drab hamburger is unceremoniously smacked out of a man’s hand and replaced with a delicious quesadilla, as the narrator suggests “Quesa-Dillas Over Burgers Anyday.” In the fourth spot, a wild-eyed woman pours queso over both her food and her phone as the narrator chimes in, “Queso, Delicious On Basically Anything.” In all four, the narrator goes on to explain that those guesses aren’t quite right, because what QDOBA actually stands for is flame-grilled, hand-smashed, made-in-house flavor.


Building anticipation on QDOBA’s social channels:

Community management (even with non-human QDOBA superfans!):

Throwing shade at QDOBA’s biggest competitor:

Acronym generator:

Bringing UGC acronyms to life:

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