Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mo' tacos, mo' problems

Someone please explain to me how this sells burritos.

Back Seat Douche: "You ready?"
Front Seat Douche: "Yeah."

They sound oddly nervous. Although if I were about to humiliate myself utterly, I might be a bit nervous too. This is like the conversation two high school seniors have before yanking off their robes and streaking the graduation stage.

PA Girl: "Can I take your order, please?"

Please note, for the record, that she does not give her name.

Front Seat Douche: "Give me the beat!"
Back Seat Douche: [starts beatboxing like a dipshit]
Front Seat Douche: "Yo - what's up Stephanie, how you doin' today / 89 cents, it's what we're gonna pay / Say hello to Bobby, he's in the back seat - "
Back Seat Douche: "Steph, gimme something big - "
Together: "With a bunch of beef!"

I would love to know why this was necessary. Do you think they're supposed to know the drive-thru clerk and they're playing a joke on her? It would certainly explain how they know her name in spite of the fact that she never says it. Either that or they just made it up to fit their rhyme scheme.

Front Seat Douche: "89 cent Cheesy Double Beef Burrito / Why pay more, that's big and cheap, yo!"

First of all, that barely rhymes. Second of all, I can't be the only one who's utterly sick of ads that pretend to be viral when they're really just shilling exactly the same as any other ads. Taco Bell would love to have you believe that a couple dudes just pulled up outside one of their drive-thrus and busted out this paean to the Cheesy Double Beef Burrito. "Why pay more, indeed, young man?" you'll muse to yourself, making a run for the nearest border forthwith.

Of course, here's the irony - this isn't exactly "thinking outside the bun" on Taco Bell's part. In fact, it's thinking pretty much directly inside the bun, since there have been amateur fast-food video raps all over YouTube for well over a year now. There's one for McDonald's (which appears to be the original), there's one for Wendy's, and - surprise! - there's even one for Taco Bell. Now, these all make me want to die and I can't say I recommend clicking on any of those links, but if you did you would notice that the latest upload date on those three is April 18, 2007; meanwhile, I only noticed Taco Bell's commercials "borrowing" the concept within the past couple weeks. The upload date on the embedded video above is from late February, but that still puts them more than nine months behind (and it's not like it would take more than a couple hours to shit out a commercial like this).

To be fair, it wouldn't have been any better if Taco Bell had gone the Geico route and just outright used the original video. But given that the concept is so obviously unoriginal - and by this point, pretty dated by internet standards - why did they bother to steal it at all? Is this ad really selling burritos? What about it is pointing anyone towards the Taco Bell? Note that in the videos, the people seem to consider what they're doing to be a prank or similar. So the guys who are, in this spot, the pitchmen for Taco Bell are actually pulling a prank on Taco Bell. Well done.

I guess the ad gets across the message - the Cheesy Double Beef Burrito is 89 cents - except that every time this ad starts I lunge for the mute button, so it's not exactly getting rammed home. Yet more proof for the theory that while making obnoxious ads might make people remember you, it's not necessarily true that there's no such thing as bad publicity.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

Wow, they really did just completely rip off those other YouTube videos. If I were Taco Bell and my ad agency pitched me that tired idea, I guess I'd have to wonder what the hell I was paying them for. YouTube is FREE, folks.

And yeah, the 89¢ message does get across, and that is an exceptionally cheap item. But the message is wrapped in so much pain it's tough to digest.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Much like Taco Bell food in general. HI-YO!!!