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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Open Letter to Taco Bell

An open letter to Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer and President of Taco Bell:
What the hell happened to you on your way to the Pantheon of Advertising? I just can’t keep quiet anymore. Their latest spots practically made me throw up in my mouth. Have you seen the latest in a long string of commercial disasters?

Their latest shows a well-dressed dude in a vest, looking like kind of a G and he’s out at a nice dinner at an upper end steakhouse. He’s with another couple, two attractive women and some dudes. This guy is sitting there with his 1990’s vest… I just can’t get over the stylist who decided a vest was just the ticket for wardrobe here. Yet I digress.

Anyway, he’s looking at a big, beautiful leather menu that no doubt has some big, beautiful cuts of beef that we all enjoy as big, beautiful Americans and he shakes his head, almost saying “screw this...” Then what does he do? He gets out of the booth and goes to Taco Bell and gets steak nachos.

I mean really? He’s going to close that menu and dismiss the company he’s with, step out with his 1993 and order steak nachos? Even the 2:00 A.M. potheads are insulted with this one!

So what are you trying to sell Taco Bell? Rudeness? That your steak nachos are the equivalent substitute for a nice steakhouse? This has to rank as one of the worst commercials ever.  How is Taco Bell going to make money with this ad? After thirty very long seconds witnessing this debacle of advertising, two words popped into my mind: Sista, PLEASE!

Taco Bell has really jumped the shark lately with their advertising campaigns. From the Lamar Odom / Charles Barkley commercial to this new guy, it’s been horrific. Remember that clueless guy they had a while back? The one who thought he had the inside track on the super inexpensive 7-layer burrito? “Hey…uh, is Janine working tonight? Can I talk to her?” How about that indie rock kid in the Volvo station wagon? The one who drive nine hundred miles for a Doritos taco? Can you imagine the ad execs brainstorming this out?:

     Taco Bell Ad Exec 1: Hey, if we can get the message across that this taco is so good that it’s worth driving 900 miles…

     Taco Bell Ad Exec 2: ...Oh my! That’s brilliant!

     Taco Bell Ad Exec 1 and Ad Exec 2 (in unison): Everyone will make a run for the border!

What Happened To You Taco Bell? You used to have something! Remember when Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, used to demand, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!”? Or when the big bell bonged imploring you to “Run for the Border”? Now those were Pantheon-worthy commercials.

Taco Bell, sigh. Was it lightning in a bottle? Were you a two hit wonder? How did you lose your way?

Easily, they have the worst commercials for any fast food restaurants on the planet. Yeah, yeah, you’re going to hit me with the Carl’s Jr. “…if it doesn't get all over your face…” spots, but I have no issue there. It speaks to their audience who want big, messy burgers and they are quite comical and sexy. Yet I digress again.

Mr. Creed, please give The Media Guy a call. I sketched out five ad concepts on the back of a napkin that I’d like to share with you. And I didn't need to wear my vest to think outside the bun.