Taco Bell ads make the point — in poor taste.

In Ad Creative on June 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I recently gave Quiznos some props for marketing smarts, so  it’s only fair that I balance the scale. Because now I have a, well, beef with Taco Bell.  For years I was the smug  young writer who always knew better, always a bit more clever than the others. If people didn’t like my work, they just didn’t “get it.”  Guess I’ve finally gone to the other side. Because I find the newest Taco Bell ad annoying.

The objective was obviously to emphasize the low cost of items on Taco Bell’s value menu. So somewhere, a writer decided that it would be funny to do that by showing some guy helping himself to pennies from various “take a penny” jars  until he had enough for the item.  The ad does accomplish that objective.  Trouble is, it also accomplishes other things that they apparently decided just weren’t important.

  • It presents the typical Taco Bell customer as a shallow, self-centered lout.
  • It trots out several tired cliches, like  taking money from the kids’ lemonade stand, and using the old “I gave last time” explanation that real-life charities have to  put up with.
  • It ends with our non-hero saying “see you tomorrow.” Just in case you thought that his obnoxious behavior was a one-time thing.

Yes, I DO have a sense of humor, and I’ve earned good money with it. But in my opinion, there are better ways to demonstrate the low prices at Taco Bell. And funnier ones.  What do YOU think? (I’d say “a penny for your thoughts” but then that guy might show up….)

  1. I totally agree. Amazing how many advertisers buy into ads that put down their customers. I hope this one doesn’t work.

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