Taco About Tocquigny

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The official t-shirt of taco lovers everywhere — the official Tocquigny Taco Tour shirt!

Each year thousands of people descend upon Austin, TX for the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) festival of music, film and interactive design. While SXSW in itself is the destination it’s host town is not something that any festival goer should miss out. Austin’s slogan of “Keep Austin Weird” celebrates the diverse ethnic backgrounds as well as the fabulous mergers of the artistic worlds – something that is evident no matter where you travel within the city. SXSW’s jammed packed schedule doesn’t really afford the festival goer much time to go out side of the festival limits and explore Austin’s quirky, fun loving nature so one design firm in Austin took it upon themselves to help these visitors get a true taste of Austin.

Tocquigny is a digitally-minded creative agency based out of Austin, TX and this year at SXSW they invited visitors to hop aboard the Tocquigny Taco Truck and explore the local taco joints outside of the festival limits providing them with awesome eats and a unique perspective on Austin’s culture. Recently we sat down with Prentice Howe, Tocquigny’s vice president and executive creative director to talk about the their firm, the Taco Truck, and how this yummy idea came to be!

Tell us a little about Tocquigny — What’s your motto? What’s your firm’s design style? I bet our readers are wondering how exactly do you say Tocquigny’s name? What’s the story behind it?

The most simplistic, and perhaps too general description of Tocquigny is that we’re a marketing and advertising agency, working with highly measured brands for the digital age. The more colorful, more fun, and maybe more accurate description is we are data nerds with a campfire soul. We love metrics but we’re also big believers in creating authentic, sustainable stories that inspire. So with that in mind, we pride ourselves on being design chameleons, always adapting to a particular brand voice. Yvonne Tocquigny founded the agency in 1980. The name rhymes with martini. And zucchini. And bikini.

Tacos  seem  to  play  a  big  part  in  your  company  from  Breakfast  Taco  Mondays  to  your SXSW  Taco  Tour  Truck  –  what’s  the  significance  behind  your  love  of  tacos?

We  were  born  and  raised  in  Austin  so,  yes,  if  it’s  wrapped  in  a  tortilla,  we’re  pretty  satisfied.  This  love  affair  with  tacos  is  even  written  into  our  company  manifesto.  They  power our  workday.  And  it  starts  every  Monday  morning  at  our  All  Hands  meeting  where  we  chow down  on  some  of  our  favorite  menu  items  from  Tacodeli.  The  Otto  and   The  Vaquero  top the  list.

Taco about a big taco! Take a break for lunch and hop aboard the Taco Truck and seek out the best tacos Austin has to offer!

Taco about a big taco! Take a break for lunch and hop aboard the Taco Truck and seek out the best tacos Austin has to offer!

What  gave  you  all  the  idea  for  Tocquigny’s  SXSW  Taco  Tour  Truck?

Our  VP  of  Media  &  Planning,  Colin,  had  been  holding  onto  the  idea  for  a  few  years:   allow SXSW  attendees  to  escape  for  an  hour  and  experience  a  side  of  Austin  they   wouldn’t typically  taste.  To  me,  it  was  a  great  concept  that  deserved  to  be  executed.   And  the  way  it unfolded  just  underscored  that  notion  that,  at  Tocquigny,  creative  isn’t  a   department,  it’s  a mindset.

The Taco Tour gets the thumbs up from this SXSW-er!

The Taco Tour gets the thumbs up from this SXSW-er!

What  was  the  best  part  about  hosting  the  Taco  Tour  Truck?  Did  your  staff  get  to  run  it?

We  have  40  people  working,  and  having  fun  at  Tocquigny,  and  everyone  here  was   involved in  the  Tocquigny  Taco  Tour.  We’re  a  family,  and  we  all  know  families  eat   together.  Well,  at Tocquigny,  we  also  like  to  plan  events  centered  around  eating.    Some   teammates  tended  to daily  meetings  at  city  hall  to  navigate  through  the  maze  of   permitting  issues  while  others scoured  the  internet  for  lightweight,  breathable  taco   suits.  It  was  a  testament  to  our awesome  culture.

What  has  become  of  the  Taco  Truck  now  that  SXSW  is  over?  Will  it  be  back  at  SXSW next  year?

The  truck  has  been  retired  but  the  giant  3D  taco  from  the  front  of  the  bus  lives  on  in  our  office.  Fabricating  that  artwork  was  no  small  feat.  I  justified  the  expense  by  saying  we’ll  use it  again,  year  after  year.  So  yes,  we  anticipate  the  Taco  Tour  will  be  back  and  better   than ever  next  year.    If  you’re  heading  to  SXSW  next  year,  be  sure  to  check  out  our site  to  learn  where  the  Taco  Tour  will  be  so  you  can  secure  your  spot   on  the  bus!

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Cool off with a cold drink as you chow down and explore authentic Austin!

For  those  of  us  that  like  to  travel  and  eat  –  what’s  the  best  kept  taco  secret  in  Austin?

The  breakfast  taco  is  the  most  important  taco  of  the  day.  Pick  up  a  copy  of  Austin Breakfast  Tacos  on  Amazon.  It’s  illuminating.

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Need more food for thought? Check out Scott Lerman’s book on Building Better Brands to find out how you can take your brand to the next level buy infusing your corporate culture into your brand, just like Tocquigny did with their Taco Truck!  Available now at MyDesignShop.com!

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