After last night, I could write in-depth analysis of each commercial that aired (or I could send you guys over to Slate’s amazing coverage over here) or I could instead mention Oreo’s blazing fast response to the mid game electrical blackout (but then again, Buzzfeed got the scoop on the post with about the same speed that it was originally posted at here). Instead of re-praising the best of the best, like the Budweiser commercial that seriously made me tear up a little and then realize I was about to cry over a beer commercial, to the lowest of the low (can GoDaddy just go away now? please?), I’ve chosen one commerical that I thought was hilarious but has been received with mixed reviews and has been easily overshadowed by the Dodge Ram ad, which to me seemed more like an awesome powerpoint than a multi-million production: The Taco Bell “Viva Young” ad.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m a big fan of advertising that goes against the grain, like the Anti-Olympic tote bags I blogged about last year, so I’m fond of this commercial for many reasons. If you take a second to look over this year’s commercials, and most years before it, you’ll see a huge emphasis placed on youth and beauty (see this year’s Calvin Klein commercial, which must have been awkward for all the father-daughter combinations enjoying the game together) and if you do happen to see the older generation they are often imparting wisdom upon the rest of us (such as the Dodge Ram commercial). In the Taco Bell commercial, they aren’t waiting for their grandchildren to show up to share a Coke: they are sneaking out windows and partying it up like any rebellious teenager in every coming of age movie. It’s hilarious without mocking old age and, if anything, it pokes fun at what my fellow millennials and I consider to be a great night out. It’s all soundtracked to a Spanish version of Fun.’s 2012 anthem, “We are Young” which only adds to the level of unexpected, but welcomed, absurdity.
After years of Chihuahua’s selling us tacos, Taco Bell has started to explore what more they could offer instead of almost offensive south of the border jokes. They’ve feature popular music, customer tweets and pictures in their ads in 2012 and have kicked off 2013 with it’s hysterical salute to old age. Taco Bell doesn’t need you to be a farmer, or a horse trainer, or even a guy with washboard abs, they just want you to have fun.
So how does this all tie back to promotional products? The takeaways are this: enjoy yourself. Laughter is a powerful thing, it makes you stick in your consumers minds. How do I know this? Well I just spent an entire blog praising Taco Bell and to be completely honest: I don’t even like their food.