- Taco Bell debuted an original branded song sang by Emmy winner Darren Criss to promote the chain's return of Nacho Fries, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The campaign includes the song, "Love of My Life," and a fake movie trailer for "Chasing Gold," featuring Criss and actor Chris Diamantopoulos.
- Taco Bell also released sheet music for the song. Nacho Fries return for a limited time starting June 6.
This is not Taco Bell's first time at the faux rodeo. The fast food chain has been creating original mock trailers over the last several years as a way to promote Nacho Fries' introduction and subsequent limited-time returns. With this incarnation of the campaign, Taco Bell added an original song to the mix, which is in line with a rash of recent campaigns that feature musical branding.
While "Chasing Gold" parodies the film "A Star Is Born" and other rags-to-riches music movies, previous Taco Bell efforts have looked toward action and thrillers for inspiration. The debut of Nacho Fries in early 2018 featured a fake trailer, "Web of Fries," which starred actor Josh Duhamel. Subsequently, Taco Bell promoted the return of Nacho Fries with a one-minute trailer by James Marsden. Produced with agency Deutsch LA, "Retrieval" ran as a spot in movie theaters, was featured in movie posters and fake-promoted for the Oscars in special "For Your Consideration" media kits.
Last summer, the QSR promoted a sequel to "Web of Fries" by tying up with "Demolition Man." In the 1993 Sylvester Stallone film, Taco Bell is the lone restaurant left in the 2032 utopian world after surviving the so-called "Franchise Wars." The fake trailers allow Taco Bell to promote Nacho Fries with humorous digital videos that have the chance of going viral.
Mock movie trailers and an original song are only the latest non-traditional efforts by Taco Bell to capture attention and break through to ad-fatigued consumers. It recently announced a brand-themed hotel and resort in Palm Springs, California, and an ad campaign that featured a mock protest against Taco Tuesday with three "taco gangs." These campaigns featured experiential elements and branded merchandise, tactics often used to engage millennial customers.
My tapping Criss, an artist with extensive TV, film, theater and musical credits, Taco Bell follows brands like Mountain Dew and Dove that have recently created campaigns starring well-known artists. Similarly, Adobe in April hired actor-director Zach Braff to create a parody video about influencers. Beyond celebrity endorsements, these campaigns give brands a chance to engage with fans of artists on a more authentic level.