As of this writing, 23,528 people have signed Taco Bell’s Change.org petition for a taco emoji.
The fast-food chain made the plea on Nov. 18 with a letter addressed to Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that regulates computer characters, including emojis. Four days earlier the group announced that it’s considering a new set of icons to be released mid-2015. Not one to miss out on a PR opportunity, Taco Bell wasted no time calling out to its fans.
“Why do pizza and hamburger lovers get an emoji but taco lovers don’t?” asked the missive. “Here’s a better question: Why do we need four different types of mailboxes? Or 25 different types of clocks? Or a VCR tape and floppy disk emoji? No one even uses those things anymore.”
What consumers always use, Taco Bell knows, are smartphones. The rest of the industry knows it, too. Last year, Domino’s introduced Dom, the Siri of pizza delivery. At a time when a growing portion of society realizes the dangers of eating fast food, the petition is just another ploy to keep people talking about high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt fare.
But unlike some fast food companies’ failed attempts to boost sales, Taco Bell’s efforts, including the famous Doritos tacos, seem to be working. Its third-quarter sales jumped 3 percent last year. Since 1988, the chain has tripled its sales, to $3.3 billion.
The taco emoji could only help the brand, not to mention those desperate to convey their taco cravings to friends and family. But people love healthy foods, too, and that needs to be communicated. Here are five other emojis that deserve to be considered.