The problem with product launches is that they’re often launched on a leap of faith or on a few focus group results. What if you could launch a product that as soon as it hit the streets, it would be a proven concept and have a line-up of consumers hungry for it? OneMethod took that challenge and created La Carnita Ltd., a pop-up taco restaurant that serves original art and tacos in downtown Toronto.

OneMethod’s Design Director, who was also a chef, had always dreamed of opening his own restaurant but didn’t know whether Toronto had an appetite for his favourite food: tacos. In addition, the company had just moved offices and thought ‘why not introduce ourselves to the neighbourhood with a meet and greet over tacos.’

So La Carnita was born. The name was selected, a logo was designed, a promotional video, a site, Tumblr page, Twitter account, and finally an Instagram account was created. They were ready. Now, OneMethod is not a commercial kitchen so in order to sell tacos, they instead sold limited pieces of art – with each art piece sold, people received three tacos. The plan was simple: announce the location over Twitter the day before the event, and crowdsource local artists to create the pieces of art. The brand was ready. Would Toronto be? The answer was a resounding yes.

La Carnita was named Toronto’s Best Fish Taco and the Globe & Mail listed La Carnita one of the top 10 small businesses of 2011 (the ‘business’ only started in August of 2011.) What started as an experiment has turned into a reality, with La Carnita opening its first restaurant in spring 2012. Less than a year after the brand was born, when the restaurant opened it already had food critics approving the food, food lovers loving the food, and 3,200+ people in line. Since then, the brand has opened three more locations.

In the first six months, La Carnita was:

> Featured in Toronto Star, National Post, CBC, and The Globe and Mail, naming La Carnita Top 10 Small Business of 2011
> Appeared in Toronto Life, The Grid, NOW, Marketing Magazine, and Applied Arts
> Catered events with The National, Neko Case, Kahlua, and Charlie’s Burgers
> Featured in over 25 food, trend, and culture blogs in Canada and New York
> Organically amassed 3,200+ Twitter followers, averaging one+ @mention/minute each pop-up

In the first six months following the campaign:

> Had more Twitter followers than Beauty & Essex in New York
> Featured in 19 food, trend, and culture blogs in Toronto
> Hosted UNO, an art + music + taco event in Toronto, with a crowd of 3,000+ people (200% above expectation), trended on Twitter, and covered by The Globe & Mail, Toronto.com, Toronto Life, and Grid TO.
> Opened a permanent location, doubling sales expectations, industry turn average, and has a two-hour wait most nights. And since then, has opened three more locations.

Cannes Cyber Lion (Shortlist)
CMA (4 Gold, 2 Bronze)
Atomic Awards (Silver)
Marketing Awards (Silver, Bronze)
PROMO! Awards (Bronze)
ADCC Awards (Silver, 2 Merit)
Communication Arts (Winner)
Applied Arts Interactive (10 Winner)
Summit Awards (Gold)
Applied Arts Advertising & Design (3 Winner)
Webby Award (Nominee)
Summit EMA (2 Gold)
Mobius Awards (Bronze)

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