Gay-Themed Taco Bell Spec Ad Sees Viral Success & Praise From Brand
A daring creative agency gets Yum Brands' attention with an unauthorized video ad.
In mid-December, creative team The Merkin Bros unleashed a spec ad entitled “Leaked Gay Taco Bell Commercial” on YouTube. The ad has amassed close to 300,000 views.
Usually in these cases, it’s standard practice for the spec’d brand to come down hard with the hammer and a scary cease and desist letter. That didn’t happen this time. While the brand didn’t exactly endorse the work, they did like it.
Of the work, a statement from Taco Bell sent to Mediaite read, “We didn’t create this ad, but we can see the people who did share the same Live Mas passion for our brand — and our breakfast — as we do. Although we cannot condone unauthorized use of our intellectual property, we are impressed with their work and would be open to meeting with them.”
In the ad, two men begin their day at Taco Bell and then hit an arcade, a carnival, have a picnic, go on a treasure hunt and get married all before they show up to work on a motorcycle.
Of the spec ad, Merkin Bros.’ Austyn Jeffs told AdWeek:
“The piece was shot in one day with a minimal amount of borrowed gear. We’ve been shooting guerrilla style for so long, we pulled off filming in an actual Taco Bell without being noticed.”
Of the ad’s theme, Jeffs added:
“We don’t have any lofty, grand thesis, but it sometimes feels advertising permits only a narrow lens for a country that’s so wonderfully diverse. It was a fun social experiment, and we didn’t quite realize it would get such a strong reaction, and we’re really happy with the response. We’re ready to see advertising on the whole to be a lot more inclusive — and we’re such big fans of Taco Bell, thought it would be a understanding company to partner those ideals with.”
The ad has been mostly well received with 809 up votes and 45 down votes on YouTube at the time of this writing.
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