Model Behavior: FCB Touts New Taco Bell Burrito

Taco Bell, which is better known for its tacos and nachos than its larger meal items, is changing its approach with the launch of a mammoth burrito.

A new campaign from FCB, San Francisco, breaks this week featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Elsa Benitez touting the fast-food chain’s new “Grilled Stuft Burrito.” Spending on the effort was not disclosed, but the Taco Bell ad business is worth roughly $200 million annually.

The spot claims the new item has twice the meat of the company’s Burrito Supreme. Agency creatives said the Mexican-born Benitez will help the product earn quick recognition with fickle fast-food customers.

The ad, titled “Grand Exit,” is shot like a dream sequence. In it, Benitez walks past two men, but they pay more attention to the burrito she’s holding than her.

The spot begins airing nationally this week, and will appear during season finales of such programs as Friends and Survivor.

“Elsa is the ideal spokesperson, because she perfectly embodies the essence of the product,” Tom O’Keefe, svp and creative director of FCB, said in a statement.

The new burrito contains beans, rice, salsa and cheese combined with beef, chicken or steak. The ingredients are wrapped in a tortilla and grilled. The product joins a long list of items Taco Bell has hyped widely of late, including its chalupas and gorditas.

Executives at the fast-food chain could not be reached for comment.

FCB won the Taco Bell account last summer from TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. TBWA\C\D had used the popular talking Chihuahua in its advertising for the brand, but in handing it to FCB, the client wanted campaigns emphasizing the chain’s food.

Among FCB’s latest ads is a spot with a group of men singing “My Chalupa” to the tune of the ’80s hit “My Sharona.”

FCB handled the account before TBWA\C\D.