The other day I made a Facebook post about Taco Bell‘s commercials. It got people excited, and it got me thinking. Are Taco Bell’s commercials purposely aiming at stoners? I would say yes, but maybe I’m over-thinking it. Maybe it’s a humorous accident. Maybe I just really want to try that Dorito taco shell.
♫♬ Late night munchies... ♫♬
I (of course) decided to write to Taco Bell and ask them about it. Here’s what I sent…
From: Waldo Lunar <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012
Subject: ⌓ Taco Bell’s Drug Culture Advertising?
¡Hola, hombres from the border!
I’ve been wondering about your advertising for quite some time. With phrases like “late night munchies” and “fourth meal”, are you actively trying to evoke a connection to pot smokers? That “baaaawww” yell in you jingle might as well be the word “bong”. Now with this Dorito taco shell and the kid that drove 900 miles to get one, it’s just pushing it over the edge. Are you planning a film for it in the vein of Harold & Kumar go to White Castle? If not, maybe you should.
I just can’t tell if you’re aware of it or not. It’s genius either way.
If you are aware of it, wow. Way to straddle the subculture line while subliminally (or not so) appealing to what has to be a core makeup of your consumer base. If you’re not aware of it, then… well, maybe you ought to talk to your advertising agency or marketing department or whoever handles such campaigns. They are the true geniuses to behold here.
Maybe I’m just hyper-aware of nonsense or trying to make correlations where there are none… and you really see no connection or intend one with your commercials and stoner culture. I mean, I don’t partake… but consider myself well informed as I have seen Friday, Half Baked, and several Cheech & Chong movies. I refuse to think I’m the only one that sees it.
If I see it, surely you see it too? Why don’t you just come out & say it? I have some possible new slogans for you…
⌓ “Cure the munchies with our crunchies!”
⌓ “Get baked at the Bell!”
⌓ “Fishbowl then drive thru!”
⌓ “Open late with a well lit parking lot for shady deals!”
Well, that last one needs some work. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on the whole thing. Thank you for your time.
At least the employees here agree (if this is indeed real).
I’m anxious to see what they send back. Will they acknowledge it? Will they be shocked? Will they act surprised?
Did they give that kid enough coupons to equal 55½¢ per mile? That’s $500 in Taco Bell Bucks… and depending on the year of that Volvo, he might not be getting that good of a deal on the gas milage.
I know, I’m over-analyzing the thing… but that’s what makes my blog fun.
I feel like they know exactly what they’re doing, but I guess there’s a fine line between finding your market & making overt marijuana references. Perhaps the latter would get some people up in arms. Has weed not become that acceptable yet? I know functioning contributing members of society that smoke… but then again I have seen some people that are consumed by it.
They don't really make tilde characters for those signs, do they?
I guess it’s still illegal… so they can’t tell you to bake up & amble slowly to the border. Actually, a string of “get high responsibly & feed yourself at Taco Bell” ads would be really really funny… or a play on the medical/medicinal angle. Health food to go with your special green medicine & help with that nasty glaucoma?
Do you feel like Taco Bell knows what they’re doing, or do you think it’s a string of coincidence?
Are they advertising to stoners and dirty pot smoking hippies (I use that term with affection), or am I thinking too much?
Would you drive 900 miles for a Dorito shell taco? Would you do it if Taco Bell footed the bill? Have you tried one? Did you like it?
Do you get late night munchies? Do you enjoy a fourth meal? Are you a dirty pot smoking hippie? Do you work at Taco Bell’s ad agency?